The Control Yuan (CY), one of the five branches of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), is an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government. It may be compared to the Court of Auditors of the European Union or the Government Accountability Office of the United States. However, the clearest analogous position is the State Comptroller of Israel, who, like the CY, is a hybrid between a government performance auditor and a political ombudsman. The Control Yuan currently consists of 29 members, nominated by the President of the Republic of China and approved by the Legislative Yuan. Members serve 6 year terms.
Jiānchá Yuàn (Mandarin)
Kam-chhat Yen (Hakka)
Seal of the Control Yuan
Control Yuan Building pictured in 2007
|Formed||February 16, 1931|
|Jurisdiction||Taiwan (Republic of China)|
|Headquarters||No. 2, Sec. 1, Zhongxiao East Road, Taipei 100216, Taiwan|
The idea for the Control Yuan was inspired by a long tradition of supervision used in past dynasties, ranging from the Censor (御史; yù shǐ) established by the Qin (秦) and Han (漢) dynasties to the tái (臺) and jiàn (諫) offices established under the Sui (隋) and Tang (唐) dynasties (tai were selected to supervise civil officials and military officers, while jian were selected to counsel the emperor on supervisory matters) to the Board of Public Censors (都察院; dūchá-yuàn) selected under the Ming (明) and Qing (清) dynasties. Most of these offices also operated local and provincial branches to supervise local governments.
Under the Qing dynasty, the Board of Public Censors consisted of forty or fifty members, and two presidents, one of Manchu ancestry and the other of Chinese ancestry. They were, in theory, allowed to send one censor to participate in the meetings of all government boards. The Board's powers were minimized by the time of political flux which preceded the end of the Empire.
As a republican phenomenon, the idea of government supervision and audit was adopted by Sun Yat-sen during his involvement with the Tongmenghui as part of five proposed branches of republican government. Following the establishment of the provisional republican government, the traditional three branches were initially put in place. An Auditing Yuan (Chinese: 審計院) was established in February 1928, but in February 1931, the Control Yuan was established and the Auditing Yuan was downgraded to the current Ministry of Audit within the Control Yuan. As stipulated by the constitution, the Control Yuan would consist of members elected from various regional councils: 5 from each province, 2 from each municipality under direct jurisdiction of the central government, 8 from Mongolia, 8 from Tibet, and 8 from overseas Chinese. These members would elect a President and Vice President. It was given the power to request documents from other government agencies and investigate them for violations of law or neglect. As a result of an investigation, the Control Yuan had the power to propose corrective measures or to impeach (but not necessarily remove) government officials; if they found evidence of criminal activity, the case would be turned over to the Judicial Yuan. The Control Yuan was also responsible for nominating an Auditor General, with consent of the Legislative Yuan, who was responsible for submitting reports on government budgets. Finally, the Control Yuan had confirmation power for the President and Vice President of the Judicial Yuan and Examination Yuan.
The first formal Control Yuan was elected and convened by the various representative councils in 1948 following the enactment of the 1947 Constitution. Most branch offices of the Control Yuan were closed following the KMT evacuation to Taiwan from the mainland.
On May 27, 1992, the selection process for the Control Yuan was reformed in Article 7 in the 2nd revision of the Additional Articles of the Constitution, with representative council elections being replaced by appointment by the President and confirmation by the National Assembly. On 18 July 1997, during the 4th revision of the Additional Articles, the power to impeach the President or Vice President was transferred from the Control Yuan to the Legislative Yuan by abolishing Article 100 of the Constitution. On 25 April 2000, confirmation power of the President and Vice President of the Control Yuan was transferred from the National Assembly to the Legislative Yuan. Furthermore, the Control Yuan's power to confirm the President and Vice President of the Judicial Yuan and Examination Yuan was removed and transferred to the Legislative Yuan, thus terminating the body's confirmation power.
At the end of 2004, President Chen Shui-bian sent a list of nominees to positions in the Control Yuan to the Legislative Yuan for approval. The Pan-Blue Coalition, which then held a majority in the Legislative Yuan, refused to ratify President Chen's nominees and demanded that he submit a new list. The political deadlock that resulted stopped the Control Yuan from functioning from February 2005 to July 2008. Following the election of President Ma of the Pan-Blue Coalition, the Legislative Yuan ratified a new list of members of the Control Yuan and Wang Chien-shien was appointed to be its President.
On 10 December 2019, the Legislative Yuan passed the National Human Rights Committee Organic Law (國家人權委員會組織法), which established the National Human Rights Committee under the Control Yuan. Its duties include investigating human rights abuses, proposing human rights laws, compiling an annual report, and educational promotion of human rights, in accordance with the Paris Principles. The committee will consist of 10 members, one of which is the President of the Control Yuan who heads the committee. It was reported that Tsai would nominate former democracy activist Chen Chu as president of the Control Yuan in 2020, and Kuomintang member Justin Huang as vice president. It is not clear how the National Human Rights Committee will interact with the existing Committee on Human Rights Protection.
Powers and responsibilitiesEdit
The Control Yuan is granted the following three powers through the Constitution.
- Impeachment: The Control Yuan has the power to impeach government officials by majority vote. Investigations are initiated by at least two members, and investigation committees must consist of at least nine members. Successfully impeached cases receive a hearing by the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission (公務員懲戒委員會) of the Judicial Yuan, which determines whether the party is guilty, and the punishment. The Control Yuan cannot impeach the President or Vice President; only the Legislative Yuan can. Details regarding impeachment proceedings are stipulated in Chapter II of the Enforcement Rules of the Control Act.
- Audit: The Executive Yuan presents the annual budget to the Control Yuan each year for audit.
- Censure: The Control Yuan also has the power to censure a government official. The censure is sent to the official's superior officer.
The Control Yuan is furthermore assigned the following responsibilities by various acts.
- National Human Rights Committee: The National Human Rights Committee is a ten-member committee under the Control Yuan which investigates human rights abuses, proposes human rights laws, compiles an annual report and promotes human rights education. The President of the Control Yuan must be a member of the committee. The committee was established by the National Human Rights Committee Organic Law on 10 December 2019.
- Anti-Corruption Committee: The Anti-Corruption Committee is a seven-member committee, which cannot include the President of Vice President of the Control Yuan, which deals with asset declarations by government officials, recusals due to conflict of interest, and political donations.
- Examination Invigilation: The Control Yuan also appoints proctors to supervise examinations for civil servants.
Examples of impeachments by the Control YuanEdit
Impeachments of presidents and vice presidents are conducted by the Legislative Yuan, and are not included in this list. Most cases are forwarded to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission (公務員懲戒委員會) in the Judicial Yuan, which determine whether the party or parties are guilty and the punishment.
- On 19 February 2020, the Control Yuan impeached five military personnel which it deemed responsible for a helicopter crash that killed all on board. The case was forwarded to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission in the Judicial Yuan to determine the punishment.
- On 4 June 2019, Hsieh Kung-ping (謝公秉), a top aide of former Hualien County commissioner Fu Kun-chi, Lin Chin-hu (林金虎), a county government employee, and media section chief Huang Wei-jun (黃微鈞), were impeached for bribery using $5.26 million in public funds. Both were found guilty on 18 February 2020; Hsieh was given two demerits and fined $100,000 NTD, Lin was handed a 10% pay reduction for a year, and Huang was given one demerit and fined $100,000 NTD.
- On 15 January 2019, Kuan Chung-ming, the president of National Taiwan University, was impeached for violating a law prohibiting public servants from working other jobs. The case was forwarded to the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission in the Judicial Yuan to determine whether he was guilty and the appropriate punishment. Kuan was found guilty on 2 September 2019 and officially reprimanded.
The structure of the Control Yuan consists of the President, Vice President, a 27-member council and the Ministry of Audit (also known as the National Audit Office).
The council of the Yuan, chaired by the Yuan President, is divided into a number of committees to fulfill the Yuan's various purposes.
The seven standing committees cover the following :
- Domestic and Ethnic Affairs
- Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs
- National Defense and Intelligence Affairs
- Finance and Economic Affairs
- Education and Cultural Affairs
- Transportation and Procurement Affairs
- Judicial and Prison Administration Affairs
In addition, Control Yuan members join five special committees:
- Committee on Statutory Studies
- Committee on Consultation
- Committee on Discipline for Control Yuan Members
- Committee on Anti-Corruption
- Committee on Human Rights Protection
Administrative Appeal CommitteeEdit
An Administrative Appeal Committee, operated under the aegis of the Control Yuan but consisting of both members and non-members of the Control Yuan, considers administrative appeals which are inappropriate to both the Control Yuan proper and the Ministry of Audit.
Organizational affairs committeesEdit
- Budgetary Planning and Administrative Committee - which provides suggestions on the planning and drawing up of the Control Yuan’s annual budget
- International Affairs Committee - which provides for collaboration and communication with the audit and ombudsman institutions of other governments.
No member of the Control Yuan can hold another public office or profession while serving in the branch (according to Article 103 of the constitution), and members must be able to perform absent of partisan control or influence. Members can vote in no more than three committees and can join additional committees as non-voting members. Each committee can have up to 14 members and usually elects a convenor amongst themselves to chair committee meetings.
Ministry of AuditEdit
The Ministry of Audit, also known as the National Audit Office and headed by an auditor-general who is nominated by the President of the Republic and appointed with consent of Parliament, exercises the Control Yuan's power of audit. It consists of five departments:
- General public affairs audit department
- National defense expenditures audit department
- Special public affairs audit department
- State-run corporations and government-owned businesses audit department
- Financial affairs audit department (also in charge of supervising local government audits)
Subordinate agencies are largely local extensions of the Ministry:
- Taipei Municipality Audit Division
- New Taipei Municipality Audit Division
- Taichung Municipality Audit Division
- Tainan Municipality Audit Division
- Kaohsiung Municipality Audit Division
- Audit Offices of Various Counties and Cities
List of Presidents of the Control YuanEdit
- Cai Yuanpei (8 October 1928 – 29 August 1929) not inauguration
- Zhao Daiwen (趙戴文) (29 August 1929 – 18 November 1930) not inauguration
- Yu Youren (18 November 1930 – 9 June 1948)
- Yu Youren (9 June 1948 – 10 November 1964)
- Li Shih-tsung (李嗣璁) (10 November 1964 – 17 August 1965) acting
- Li Shih-tsung (李嗣璁) (17 August 1965 – 15 May 1972)
- Chang Wei-han (張維翰) (15 May 1972 – 19 March 1973) acting
- Yu Chun-hsien (余俊賢) (19 March 1973 – 12 March 1987)
- Huang Tzuen-chiou (黃尊秋) (12 March 1987 – 1 February 1993)
- Chen Li-an (1 February 1993 – 23 September 1995)
- Cheng Shuei-chih (鄭水枝) (23 September 1995 – 1 September 1996) acting
- Wang Tso-yung (王作榮) (1 September 1996 – 1 February 1999)
- Fredrick Chien Foo (1 February 1999 – 1 February 2005)
- Post vacant (1 February 2005 – 1 August 2008)
- Wang Chien-shien (1 August 2008 – 31 July 2014)
- Chang Po-ya (31 July 2014 – 1 August 2020)
- Chen Chu (1 August 2020 - present)
List of Vice Presidents of the Control YuanEdit
- Liu Zhe (劉哲) (12 June 1948 – 7 January 1954)
- Liang Shang-tung (梁上棟) (18 August 1954 – 12 July 1957)
- Lee Hsi-chong (李嗣璁) (12 April 1958 – 17 August 1965)
- Chang Wei-han (張維翰) (2 November 1965 – 19 March 1973)
- Chou Pai-lian (周百鍊) (19 March 1973 – 24 March 1981)
- Huang Tzuen-chiou (黃尊秋) (24 March 1981 – 12 March 1987)
- Ma Kung-chun (12 March 1987 – 30 December 1991)
- Lin Rong-San (20 February 1992 – 1 February 1993)
- Cheng Shuei-chih (鄭水枝) (1 February 1993 – 1 February 1999)
- Cheng Meng-lin (陳孟鈴) (1 February 1999 – 1 February 2005)
- Chen Jinn-lih (24 November 2008 – 31 July 2014)
- Sun Ta-chuan (1 August 2014 – 1 August 2020)
- Post vacant (1 August 2020 - present)
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