Friday, November 22, 2013

Central CPC Inspection Tour Working Process--Developing Mechanisms for Supervision and Monitoring of Anti-Corruption Efforts in China

I have been considering the ways in which the Chinese Communist Party has been evolving its institutionalization of anti-corruption mechanisms (e.g., The Chinese Communist Party's New Anti-Corruption Rules--Small Weddings and No New Years Cards, 11-7-2013; From Global Anti-Corruption Structures to Anti-Corruption With Chinese and Now Cuban Characteristics; What can China Teach Cuba?,10-25-2013; The Emerging Forms of Chinese Anti-Corruption Institutions,10-10-2013). These movements are likely to become more significant especially after the just concluded 3rd Plenum.  

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2013)

For this post my SJD student, Shan Go has prepared a short discussion of a recently concluded first round inspection that targeted key provinces.  

Central CPC Inspection Tour Working Process
Shan Gao

According to the CCDIC website and other media’s reports, the first round of Central CPC Inspection Tour had finished by the end of September[1]. “Inspection Tour” is not new for China’s leaders and its people. In fact, as a special method for leader to learn the behavior of local officials, the inspection tour system has hundred years of history. Under such system, Jiancha-Yushi xunshi[2] (Inspection Censor Officer) is created as the representation of supreme leader during the feudal times. He will lead a special investigate team to inspect or exam local officials’ behavior on behalf of emperor. The inspection tour system in the feudal time could be understood as the prototype of the modern Anti-corruption system.

Current Central CPC Inspection Tour is similar to the traditional inspection tour system. The Inspection leading group represents Central CPC that assigns and establishes every inspection team. Moreover, the leading group solely responsible and report to the Central CPC. The biggest difference of current inspection tour system, as CCDIC explained, is the fact that each inspection team has no authority of investigating a case. In other words, the inspection team’s main task is to discover issues and report them to Central leading group. According to the authority’s publication, the first round of inspection tour mainly target Party Committee’s leader groups in five provincial governments, which are:

· Hubei
· Neimeng (Inner-Mongolia)
· Chongqing city
· Guizhou
· Jiangxi

And one state department: Ministry of Water Resources,

And three state owned enterprises and one university which are:

· China Grain Reserves Corporation
· Exim Bank of China
· China Publishing Group Corp
· Renming University.

The Central Inspection Tour leading group assigned ten inspection teams to these ten institutions since May of 2013. The authority also published the contacts of the team leader and their findings to the public[3]. Recently, CCDIC initiated second round of inspection tour and it also published the process of inspection tour’s work. Based on the excerpts from Sina news, the following diagram briefly explained how inspection tour works[4].

The establishment of Central Inspection Tour

Central CPC creates inspection team leader database, the central inspection leading group select team leader from the database. Each inspection tour is a different task with its own authorization from the inspection leading group.

Target of Inspection Tour:

Provincial, autonomous region or municipality level of

· Local Party Committee’s leader group and its members
· The Party Committee’s leader group and its members in
o Government
o People’s Congress
o Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
o Other assigned institutions or entities

The Four Main Task of Inspection team:

1. Local officials’ illegal activity, such as: back-door dealing, corruption, embezzlement, abuse of power;

2. Local officials’ misbehaviors, such as: bureaucracy, hedonism, formalism, extravagance and other violations of CPC’s Eight Rule;

3. Local officials’ open statements that against Party line or policy. Any matters relate to the violations of Party discipline;

4. Local officials’ illegal conduct of buying or selling government positions, canvassing and taking bribery or illegal promotion.

Issues beyond the scope of the “Four Main Task,” such as individual’s personal petition, matters relate to illegal eminent domain, shall handle to or transfer to relevant authorities. The inspection group ONLY discovers issues NOT investigating any case.

Mythology of inspection:

1. Hearing reports or testimony;
2. Attending relevant meetings;
3. Reviewing visitations, phone calls, letters and other tips from different sources;
4. Holding discussion forums;
5. Having individual one on one conversation with certain person;
6. Acquiring or copying relevant materials
7. Conducting democratic questionnaire in target institutions or entities
8. Researching and studying target institutions or entities;
9. Requiring relevant departments for assistance or cooperation

Working Process of Central CPC Inspection Tour Team:

1. Preparation:
The inspection tour team should first collect intelligence and information about Party leader groups or assigned district from Central CPC Organization Department, State Auditing Administration, State Bureau of Letters and Calls. Design inspection working strategy and plans based on the collected information. Send inspection notice to target distract, area or institutions.
2. Study and research:
· Notify the purpose and main task of the inspection to the target intuitions, entities and districts.

· Publicize the scope of inspection, major working plan and contact information to the general society.

· Learn local officials’ conducts that violate law or Party discipline. In case of several violation, promptly report such violation to Central Inspection Tour Leading Group

3. Brief and report:
Brief and report their findings to Central Inspection Tour Leading Group;

4. Suggestion:
Propose correction advice to target institutions, entities and districts in case there are any violations.

5. Transfer:
Based on the Central Inspection Tour Leading group’s decision, transfer the inspection case to other Party departments, such as CCDIC, Central Organization Department,

As you can read from the diagram, current inspection tour is only focus on the discovering of Party Committee leader’s misconducts or misbehaviors. The inspection team is a temporary organization assigned by Central Inspection Leading Group and has no authority of investigating or making critical decisions. Their main task is to inform Leading Group their findings and making suggestions to the target institutions or entities. The power of investigating is still possessed by other Anti-Corruption agencies.


[1] 10个中央巡视组反馈中提出问题和建议

[2] See監察御史, and Translation of Han Dynasty titles

[3] 10个中央巡视组信息全公布 组长均为正部级


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