Pilot operation of national supervision system reform #Oriental Outlook#-Sino-US


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Pilot operation of national supervision system reform #Oriental Outlook#

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China with Xi Jinping as the core has been firmly and strictly governing the Party since the 18th CPC National Congress. 

During the past five years, thousands of corrupt officials have been arrested and punished. The anti-corruption campaign has been built into a crushing tide, and is being consolidated and developed. 
 
The Party did not rest on the achievements, but worked further to set the strongest tone in piloting a national supervision system reform, bringing all public servants under oversight.
 
Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces have been chosen to pilot the program, and they have selected personnel from different agencies and departments to form a new commission for discipline inspection and supervision.
 
In the third issue of 2018, the Oriental Outlook magazine under the Xinhua News Agency ran a cover story on the supervision system reform, detailing the practices in three pilot places.
 
Below is an excerpt of the article.
 
Xi Jinping has highlighted the importance of fighting corruption and mentioned the good progress in piloting the reform of the national supervision system in the report delivered to the 19 CPC National Congress in October.
 
The 19th CPC National Congress report has called corruption "the greatest threat" the Party faces, and the fight against corruption is ongoing and remains grave and complex.
 
The Party must remain as firm as a rock in the resolve to build on the overwhelming momentum and secure a sweeping victory, according to the report.
 
The General Office of the CPC Central Committee issued a document on expanding the supervision system reform to the whole country after the 19th National Congress.
 
Many places followed the document to set up supervision commissions, such as Dandong of Liaoning province on November 29, Hongjiang of Hunan province on December 7 and Harbin of Heilongjiang province on December 10. 
 
About a year ago, Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces were chosen to pilot the supervision system reform according to a General Office document issued in November 2016.
 
There is no doubt that it is very difficult to complete such a historic and significant reform. The three places started the pilot reform by setting up supervision commissions at different levels since January 2017.
 
In a year, they finished merging agencies and departments involved in anti-corruption work, adjusting functions, streamlining procedures, trying new work ways and means of handling cases and overseeing more officials.
 
They have made outstanding achievements but more concrete challenges need to be addressed. What have the three places done and what are their experiences in the reform?
 
Reform determination
 
In January 2016, the work report to the sixth plenary session of the 18th Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said that the relevant administrative supervision law, which monitors government officials, would be revised.
 
A national supervision system for state organs and everyone working in the public sector who exercises public power would be set up, according to the report.
 
Soon after the sixth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the General Office issued the plan to carry out pilot reform of the supervision system in Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces.
 
On December 25, 2016, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the decision on carrying out the pilot reform in the three places, stipulating the major and basic systems involved in the pilot work.
 
In the morning of January 18, 2017, Ren Jianhua was elected the first director of Shanxi’s supervision commission at the seventh session of the 12th Shanxi Provincial People’s Congress, the provincial legislature.
 
In the afternoon, the Standing Committee of the 12th Shanxi Provincial People’s Congress passed the appointment of the commission’s deputy director and members, representing the completion of the formation of the supervision commission.
 
Two days later, directors of Beijing’s and Zhejiang’s commissions were elected on January 20, and the People’s Congresses of the two places also approved the appointments of the deputy directors and members. 
 
By March 30, all 11 cities and 119 counties of Shanxi have supervision commissions. By April 19, all districts of Beijing have supervision commissions, and by the end of April, Zhejiang have commissions in all cities and counties.
 
Since the commissions must be formed by the People’s Congresses at their level, some counties applied to the National People’s Congress to hold meetings earlier than schedule in May and June, Shi Xuming, a Shanxi supervision official, said. That meant a shorter tenure for the previous county leadership produced by the People’s Congress.
 
The three places have taken the personnel transfer as the key to promoting the pilot work. The personnel of the anti-corruption and bribery bureau of procuratorate were wholly transferred to the new commission.
 
The new commission integrated the supervision department and corruption prevention bureau, along with divisions handling bribery, dereliction of duty and misuse of power, said a supervision official from Zhejiang.
 
Through personnel reshuffles, a comprehensive institution for discipline inspection and supervision has helped enlarge the team of front-line workers, said the official who declined to be named.
 
In Wenling, the number of front-line workers increased from 32 percent to 53 percent compared to the total personnel after the reform, effectively improving the efficiency of handling cases, the official said.
 
High efficiency
 
The time of the whole case-handling process involving a series of legal procedures, such as case filing, investigation, settlement, transfer, prosecution and judgment, has been shortened a lot.
 
The misuse of power cases involving personnel in state-owned enterprises and social institutions used to be handled by public security departments has been put under the new supervision commission in Shanxi.
 
On March 21, the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee approved the detention of Guo Hai, former chairman of Shanxi Coal Import & Export Group, the first case after the new commission was established to handle detention.
 
One measure of the pilot supervision system was to replace lianggui with detention. Lianggui requires that Party members under investigation must cooperate with questioning at a set time and place.
 
Eighty days later, the intermediate court of Changzhi city sentenced Guo for 13 years in prison for accepting bribes and dereliction of duty, closing a case that was pending for three years.
 
On May 27, the Jiangbei district court of Ningbo sentenced two officials to prison for abusing their power, which was the first case of job-related crime handled by the supervision commission in Zhejiang province.
 
Li Gang, head of the Jiangbei district commission for discipline inspection and supervision, said that the supervision commission closely cooperated with the judicial organs in handling cases, fulfilling a seamless connection.
 
Beijing has fully practiced the whole process in handling the cases applying to the implementation of detention measure. The average detention time is 58.5 days, 20.2 days shorter than that under the lianggui system in 2016. 
 
The time judicial organs took to handle the cases transferred by the supervision commission was also shortened by 7 days for approving arrest and 16 days for prosecution in Beijing.
 
Unified leadership
 
The document issued by the General Office in November 2016 points out that a definite reform goal was to establish the national anti-corruption institution under the unified leadership of the Party.
 
According to the document, the CPC Central Committee would set up a leading group on the pilot work of deepening the supervision system reform, and the Party committees of the pilot places will take full charge of the work.
 
Beijing, Shanxi and Zhejiang Party chiefs are the leaders of their work groups on the supervision system reform, according to the document.
 
Shanxi Party chief Luo Huining said in the beginning of the pilot work that Party chiefs at provincial, city and county levels should take the main responsibility, leading the pilot work as “the foreman of construction team.”
 
The reform in Shanxi aims at strengthening the Party’s unified leadership on anti-corruption work in all aspects. 
 
The work at each stage of Guo Hai’s case has gained approval from the Provincial Party Committee, special meetings held for some links. A temporary Party branch was also set up for the case.
 
A senior Shanxi official said that uniformity in managing the Party according to discipline and governing the country by law was highlighted in the reform work, and the new system strengthens the unified leadership of the Party.
 
Beijing also piloted the system mechanism of integrating the intra-Party affairs according to discipline and punishing misuse of power according to law.
 
The city regulated that the use of the detention measure for a suspect must be approved by principal person in charge of the Party committee at the same level as the suspect’s rank.
 
Gao Bo, deputy head of the CCDI Inspector's Office at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the reform has concentrated the forces in fighting against corruption and put the power under control in the whole process.
 
Full coverage
 
In the first 10 months last year, Shanxi investigated and punished 33,702 suspects, a 16.8 percent increase year-on-year. The Zhejiang commission for discipline inspection and supervision dealt with 43,807 problems last year, an 84.4 percent increase year-on-year.
 
The increase did not only come from the high efficiency of handling cases after the reform, but also the enlarged scope of the personnel under oversight.
 
The reform has allowed the supervision commission to oversee everyone working in the public sector, including the Party members and non-Party members.
 
Li Shengbo, director of Daqi sub-district office in Beilun district of Ningbo, said that the establishment of the supervision commission has huge impact on grassroots officials, especially bringing the non-Party officials under oversight. 
 
The non-Party member village heads, teachers and doctors were also put under stronger surveillance, Li said.
 
In Shanxi, 2.9752 million people were under surveillance of the supervision commission on August 31, 2017, including 538,900 non-Party members, about 18 percent of the total.
 
Zhang Shuofu, head of Beijing's commission for discipline inspection and supervision, said that the capital has completed the trial period and all public servants in the capital have been brought under oversight.
 
Beijing has also set up the system of sending supervisory groups to strengthen the supervision of major projects and important work, pushing ahead district commissions sending groups to subdistrict and township governments.

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