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  • Last updated:2018-11-01
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The Agency Against Corruption (AAC), Ministry of Justice of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was established on July 20, 2011.The AAC is dedicated to maintaining government integrity and upholding social justice. The AAC is mandated to achieve three general goals: First, strengthening existing mechanisms for eradicating and preventing corruption The AAC’s responsibilities include, among other things, drawing and implementation of anti-corruption policies, prevention of corruption, education of the public on fighting corruption as well as investigation and prosecution of corruption cases. To this end, the AAC will endeavor to address both the instances of corruption and the root causes thereof, promote public participation and education, and mete out punishment for such behaviors. Only then can a highly effective public-private network be formed to comprehensively fight and reduce corruption. Second, enhancing the conviction rate of corruption cases The AAC understands that only close interactions among prosecutors, officials from the AAC with investigation power, and officers from ethics units of all levels of government familiar with bureaucratic operations can result in more precise assessments in corruption cases and hence secure evidence needed. In the end, such integration can enhance capabilities of Taiwan’s law enforcement departments in order for improving the rate of guilt verdict on corruption cases. Third, furthering the protection of human rights in Taiwan The AAC will neither pursue just high-profile cases nor seek to amass a high volume of cases. Rather, when conducting the investigation of corruption cases, it strives to maintain accurate procedures and make its best endeavors to safeguard the rights of the persons under investigation and the reputation of the agencies concerned. In addition, the AAC will strictly abide by the principle of presumption of innocence and refrain from releasing information by which the public will consider the suspect guilty Special features of the AAC Serving as Taiwan’s sole specialized anti-corruption agency First, the AAC is the first-ever agency specially established with an express mandate to fight corruption. It is the only organization in Taiwan that fulfills the recommendations of the U.N. Convention Against Corruption, being comprehensively empowered to draw up policies as well as to take action to prevent and eradicate corruption. This demonstrates our determination to maintain the highest possible standards. Launching the mechanism for in-house public prosecutors Second, the AAC’s establishment marks the first time that an agency dedicated to monitoring the ethical behavior of public servants at all levels of governments. The AAC is staffed with prosecutors empowered to investigate and prosecute corruption cases. With this new model of operations, prosecutors will participate in suspected cases of corruption at an early stage and will thus be able to exercise their powers to collect evidence needed in a timelier manner. Creating an Advisory Committee In addition, the AAC creates a Government Ethics Review Committee tasked with monitoring and maintaining the transparency of the AAC’s operations. Composed of experts, citizens with high repute, and representatives from a number of civic organizations, the Committee will work to ensure that the AAC avoids misjudgments and delay while maintaining its independence and neutrality. Guiding principles Addressing both the symptoms and root causes of corruption First and foremost, with respect to its anti-corruption policies, the AAC puts more emphasis on education and prevention rather than investigation. The agency’s operations follow a cycle of “prevention, investigation and further prevention” with an aim to continuously improve relevant mechanisms on anti-corruption education and preventon of corruption. Public servants violating ethics guidelines or laws have to face administrative and/or judicial punishments, thereby deterring other public servants. Afterwards, the AAC will reassess the corruption risk management mechanism to determine what improvements need to be made. Expanding the governance of integrity to the private sector Taiwan’s Anti-Corruption Act covers corruption conducted by the private sector commissioned to carry out public duties. It also stipulates that any person offering or promising to offer any advantage to public servants will be subject to prosecution. It follows that the focus of the AAC’s anti-corruption work extends to not only the public sector but also the private sector. Therefore, the AAC will make its best endeavors to prevent both the public and private sector from receiving and offering bribes.
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