According to the Organic Law of the Commission Against Corruption of the Macao Special Administrative Region, the Commissioner Against Corruption, Cheong Weng Chon, submitted 2017 Annual Report of the Commission Against Corruption of Macao to the Chief Executive, Chui Sai On, in March 2018. The report was published in the Official Gazette of the Macao Special Administrative Region today (11th April).
During the process of the 6th Legislative Assembly Elections, the CCAC spared no effort in the performance of the duty to combat electoral corruption and promote electoral probity. Over 5,000 site inspections on banquets, events in celebration of anniversary of civil associations and group trips were conducted. These actions had a significant effect on the prevention and suppression of the corrupt acts which might occur in the events. Compared with the previous ones, the number of the candidates running for the directly elected seats was the largest in the 6th Legislative Assembly Elections and thus the competition was the fiercest. However, the number of reports received by the CCAC and works of supervision and law-enforcement reflected that there has been an improvement of the situations of alleged electoral bribery and other related illegal acts. The public’s awareness of electoral integrity has constantly enhanced and the electoral environment has developed into a fairer, cleaner and more just one. The report also indicated the suggestions for how to improve the system of declaration of activities where advantages were given away during the election period.
In 2017, the Court of Final Appeal heard the corruption case involving the former Prosecutor-General, Ho Chio Meng. The investigation officers of the CCAC gave their testimonies and cooperation to the court. The verdict of guilty has demonstrated the truth that the long arm of the law is inescapable. As to the cases detected by the CCAC last year, some involved exploitation of power for personal gain, abuse of power and fraud over high value, while there were also some other cases about the criminal acts such as forgery of document and fraud over public funds in the procedures of government departments’ approval of the applications for “major investment immigration”, subsidies and public sector contracts. These have reflected the departments’ carelessness in the approval procedures and the defective examination mechanisms, which deserve the attention of the Government as well as every public department.
In 2017, the CCAC released the “Investigation report on the typhoon forecasting procedures and internal management of the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau” and the “Investigation report on the employment of workers through acquisition of services by the Cultural Affairs Bureau”. The SAR Government attached great importance to the problems revealed in the reports, and disciplinary procedures were also initiated against the leaders of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau. From the CCAC’s perspective, the relevant incidents show that the awareness of “administration according to the law” and the ability of “making scientific decisions” among some leaders of public departments have yet to improve. In addition, to ensure that “power comes with responsibility”, the SAR government should review the legislation pertaining to disciplinary mechanisms for public servants and promptly improve the accountability systems for leadership and senior management officers.
In the “foreword” of the annual report, the Commissioner Against Corruption Cheong Weng Chon points out that although the social environment and legal systems are different between Macao and the Chinese Mainland, the strong determination and monumental achievements of the Chinese Mainland in the fight against corruption will definitely have far-reaching impacts on the long-term peace and stability of Macao. As a designated anti-graft agency of the SAR, the CCAC will proactively draw on the successful experience of the Chinese Mainland in corruption fighting, strictly implement its statutory duties as a graft fighter and ombudsman and strive to improve mechanism building that upholds integrity.
The annual report summarises the CCAC’s work in such areas as the Legislative Assembly Elections, anti-corruption, ombudsman, promotion and education, exchange and training. It also includes summaries of some of the criminal cases and administrative complaints investigated or handled by the CCAC. The full text of the 2017 Annual Report of the Commission Against Corruption of Macao can be viewed on the Official Gazette of the Macao Special Administrative Region or downloaded from the CCAC’s website.