China Focus: Pilot supervisory reform boosts political confidence ahead of CPC national congress

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-20 16:51:28|Editor: An
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BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- A pilot reform to strengthen supervision over use of power is in full swing in the run up to the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress.

Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang are the first three provincial-level regions in the country to pilot the reform involving the establishment of a supervisory commission and the restructuring of the supervisory system, which was endorsed by the country's top legislature in December.

Since the three new provincial supervisory commissions had their leaderships elected by regional legislatures in January, the reform has shown strong results.

The commissions have integrated the government's supervision departments with the departments under the people's procuratorates that deal with corruption prevention, bribery, dereliction of duty and other duty-related crimes.

According to Lyu Xiaodong, a CPC discipline inspection official from Lishui city of Zhejiang, public employees who were not CPC members as well as non-government workers who exercised public power on behalf of the government used to be the blind spots for supervision authorities. But loophole has closed with the new reform.

Those with people's congresses, people's political consultative conferences, hospitals, schools and even village committees are now included in the scope of supervision, said Li Zhenqi, a Beijing municipal supervisory commission official.

Under the pilot scheme, the supervisory commission is authorized to supervise, investigate and punish public employees and those with public power.

The supervisory commission will work at the same site with the local CPC discipline watchdog, and the three provincial supervisory commission chiefs also head the local CPC discipline watchdogs, enabling efficient coordination and sharing of resources.

The transferring of procuratorate employees in charge of bribery, dereliction of duty and other duty-related crimes at provincial, prefectural and county levels has been completed.

"The new system is more streamlined, unified and efficient," said Zhang Shuofu, director of the supervisory commission in Beijing, which punished nearly 500 government officials from January to July.

In Zhejiang, 44 people have been transferred to judicial authorities as of the end of July, seven of which were sentenced in court.

Wang Yukai, professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, said the reform has better ensured the lawful rights and interests of suspects under investigation, which demonstrates use of the rule of law.

In approving the reform, the national legislature gives the supervisory commission multiple means to perform its duty, including residential surveillance, freezing of property and detention.

Zhejiang Province has released an operation guide for investigations, detailing the approval, filing, detention period, and legitimate rights of suspects, which makes sure rule of law is observed at all times.

"Restructuring the supervisory system is an important political reform, showing the Party's political self-confidence and resolve to carry on the reform," said Gao Bo, an anti-corruption expert.

Subjecting all public employees to supervision is a major innovation and progress in fighting corruption," he said.