The Communist Party of China Central Committee’s proposal on the Constitution amendment devotes one chapter to the definition of supervisory commissions, indicating the importance of these commissions in the country’s governance system. Setting up supervisory commissions as state organs is a major innovation for more stringent supervision of public power based on China’s history and current national conditions. It reflects the country’s confidence in the path, the theory, the system and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The proposed Article 123 of the Constitution states: “Supervisory commissions at various levels of the People’s Republic of China are state supervisory organs,” which defines the nature and status of supervisory commissions. As a specialized organ executing the state’s supervisory function, supervisory commissions share personnel and offices with the Party’s discipline inspection commissions at various levels, embodying the integration of their functions to serve both the Party and the people.
Supervisory commissions are a type of political organ for the Party and the state to exercise self-supervision, not administrative or judicial departments. Their supervisory authority is not a simple combination of the functions of administrative supervision, fight against graft and dereliction of duty, as well as corruption prevention. Under the Party’s direct leadership, they supervise those who execute public power on behalf of the Party and the state, and investigate all duty-related illegal and criminal acts. Their functional authority is obviously different from that of judicial departments and law enforcement authorities.
Apart from supervising, investigating and dealing with duty-related crimes, supervisory commissions are also responsible for ideological and political work and education on the Party's ideals, convictions and purpose. Their efforts must adhere to the principle of learning from mistakes to prevent recurrence and treating the illness to save the patient while striving to achieve notable political, disciplinary and social effects.
This is an edited excerpt of an article under the byline of Zhong Jiyan