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Historical Background of Control Yuan

 The control system in China began more than two thousand years ago in Chin (246-206 B.C.) and Han (206 B.C.-A.D. 220) dynasties. At that time, the government was placed under the supervision and control of the office of yu-shih . During the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty, the posts of cheng-hsiang szu-shih and szu-li chiao-wei were instituted in the capital. Also established were 13 pu-tzu-shihto ride herd on the provinces. Emperor Kuang Wu of the Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25-57) modified the system by using the szu-li chiao- wei to supervise the capital and 12 pu-tzu-shih to oversee provincial activities. The modification continued after the Wei (220-265) and Tsin (265-420) dynasties. In Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-904) dynasties, the office of yu-shih was divided into tai and chien. The former was charged with supervising civil officials and military officers while the latter was responsible for counseling the emperor. In keeping with the tzu-shih system of the Han dynasty, an-cha-shih was established to supervise the officials in 15 provinces. The functions of tai and chien became blurred in the second half of the Sung dynasty (960-1279), leading to the mergence of the two offices in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). In Ming (1368-1644) and Ching (1644-1911) dynasties, tu-cha-yuan was set up to supervise government ethics, marking further development of the control and supervision system. Supervision at the local level was strengthened and the number of chien-cha yu-shih was increased from 13 to 15. Toward the end of the Ching dynasty, the number was further increased to 20. They were responsible for conducting investigations in various areas and reporting cases of impeachment to the throne. Their goal was to commend good officials, condemn bad ones and enforce discipline in the officialdom. The founding father of the Republic of China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen advocated a five-power constitution as early as 1905, when he founded Tung Meng Hui to spearhead the Chinese revolution. He adopted the Western system of checks and balance between legislative, executive and judiciary powers, and added two traditional Chinese government powers of examination and supervision (control) to complete the five-power system. When the new republic was established in Peking in 1912, it first implemented the three-power system of the West, leaving the power of impeachment to the parliament. The five-power system was adopted in 1928 when China was reunited in the Northward Expedition.

 First, an Auditing Yuan was established in February 1928 to control government finance. In February 1931, the Control Yuan was formed to serve as the highest supervisory organ of the National Government by exercising the powers of auditing and impeachment. At the same time, the Auditing Yuan was downgraded into the Ministry of Audit and was subordinated to the Control Yuan. In 1937, after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War, the powers of censure and recommendation were added to the Control Yuan.

 The Constitution of the Republic of China was enacted on December 25, 1947. And the first constitutional Control Yuan was organized on June 5, 1948 by members elected by provincial, municipal, Tibetan and Mongolian representative councils and overseas Chinese communities according to the Constitution.

 When the Constitution was put into effect, the Control Yuan set up branch offices in various regions. These offices were suspended when the central government was relocated from the mainland to Taiwan.

 When the second National Assembly met in May 1992, it approved the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China, which provides that the Control Yuan shall have 29 members, including a president and a vice president, all of whom shall serve a term of six years and shall be nominated and, with the consent of the National Assembly, appointed by the President of the Republic. Henceforth, members of the Control Yuan are no longer elected by representative councils. In accordance with this constitutional amendment, the members of the second Control Yuan, nominated and appointed by the President with the consent of the National Assembly, began to exercise their powers on February 1, 1993.