China's draft supervision law, which aims to create an independent State organ that will supervise personnel who wield public authority, was submitted to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) on third reading on Tuesday before being put to a vote next week.
Li Jianguo, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the 12th NPC, told deputies of the 13th NPC on Tuesday that the new law is meant to enhance the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in anti-corruption campaigns around the country.
The draft states that new supervisory commissions will be established at the national, provincial, city and county levels. Tasked to handle post-related crimes, they will independently exercise supervisory authority and will not be subject to interference from the government, social organizations and individuals.
"In the face of a tough and complicated situation, our existing supervisory institutions were clearly unable to meet the demands of the fight against corruption and the campaign to clean up the Party," Li said.
Under the old supervisory system, the Party disciplinary network oversaw all Party members and the administrative supervisory agencies governed civil servants, which left a considerable number of State functionaries unsupervised.
The supervisory authority was also divided among three agencies, with Party disciplinary agencies regulating Party members based on Party rules, administrative supervisory agencies monitoring civil servants based on the administrative supervision law, and procuratorates prosecuting State functionaries suspected of corruption according to the criminal procedure law.
"The agencies, whose authorities overlap, did not function harmoniously," Li said, adding that procuratorates, which not only investigate but also prosecute, were not effectively supervised.
Since 80 percent of civil servants and 95 percent of leading officials are Party members, the tasks of Party internal inspection and State supervision overlap, requiring a more unified supervisory system, Li said.
Under the reform, supervision, corruption control and prevention divisions under the government and procuratorates were merged. State supervision and Party disciplinary inspection will also be unified.
The third reading of the draft supervision law comes after a newly adopted Constitutional amendment on Sunday listed the supervisory commissions as a new type of State organ.
In the amendment, supervisory commissions are listed together with State administrative, judicial and procuratorial organs, all of which are created by people's congresses to which they are accountable and by which they are supervised.
"The Constitutional amendment provides the very foundation for the supervision law. It grants the supervisory commissions the authority to fight corruption and supervision authority. A Constitutional change must be adopted before the law can be put to a vote," Ren Jianming, an anti-corruption expert at Beihang University, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
The commissions are tasked to supervise all personnel who wield public authority.
"This means supervisory commissions will also monitor personnel from the people's congresses to determine whether they have committed job-related crimes. At the same time, the people's congresses will determine whether the supervisory commissions are faithfully carrying out their duties. This creates a two-way supervision mechanism," Ren said.
Wang Gang, an NPC deputy and mayor of Karamay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, said at a group discussion that supervising authority is a great theoretical and institutional innovation and that he fully supports it.
The draft law will be put to a vote on March 20, the last day of this year's NPC session, according to the legislature's official website.
A new style of interview is quickly gaining popularity at China's ongoing annual political meetings, known as the "Two