Anti-graft watchdog must be free of local influence, says party school

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 January, 2007, 12:00am

The Communist Party should establish an independent anti-graft body answerable only to the central leadership in order to better fight corruption, a publication run by the Central Party School said.

The Central Commission for Discipline Commission - the Communist Party's top anti-graft watchdog - lacked the independence, authority and executive power to do its job properly, according to author Zhang Jianming in the latest issue of Study Times.

'Issues like resources, promotion and transfer [of officials] of the commission are under the purview of Communist Party officials who are of the same rank,' he wrote.

He said commission officers found it difficult to monitor cadres of the same rank and those problems were compounded when investigating senior officials.

Mr Zhang said the commission's authority had constantly been challenged. 'When there are disagreements between party leaders and commission officers, it's always the latter who give way because of the supreme status of party cadres.'

He said another obstacle was that the commission could not select investigation targets by itself, even if it found some cadres had been involved in corruption.

Mr Zhang suggested that the central government should initially set up a 'new dual leadership' inside the system to let commission officers around the country report directly to its Beijing headquarters.

'When the 'new dual leadership' has been running for a few years ... there would be a transition to another 'parallel leadership model'.'

He added that the second model would see officials from the watchdog and party organs elected and appointed at annual party congresses, with no one being able to serve as both a local administrator and a watchdog.

Lin Xiaoguang , a researcher from the Central Party School in Beijing, said Mr Zhang's idea reflected the wishes of many open-minded party members.

'During the ongoing anti-graft campaign, evidence has shown that many serious graft cases have been covered up by local party chiefs abusing their administrative powers,' Mr Lin said. 'And many anti-graft officials have collaborated with local cadres.'

Experts from the party school believed the party could only maintain its rule by shifting more power to the anti-graft watchdog.