On October 31, 2003, the United Nations passed the “United Nations Convention against Corruption” (UNCAC), which took effect on December 14, 2005. Article 6 (Preventive Anti-Corruption Body or Bodies) and Article 36 (Specialized Authorities) of the UNCAC emphasize the importance that every signatory country establish at least one anti-corruption body and “specialized authorities of ethics” in accordance with their own legal systems, and endow them with the “necessary power of independence.” Although we are not a member of UNCAC, we nevertheless see ourselves as a member of the global community, thus are guided by Article 141 of the Constitution to comply with the international conventions and the Charter of the United Nations. Hence, we are obliged to adopt the terms of the UNCAC. In year 2000, the “National Integrity System (NIS)” proposed by Transparency International emphasizes an independent authority as an indispensable part for supervising purposes. One after another, countries around the world have shown their commitments to fight corruption, and set up own specialized authorities to enforce ethical governance.
Based on the above mentioned goals and also in response to the expectations of the general public towards a “clean and competent government”, the Legislative Yuan passed the Organic Act of the Agency Against Corruption during the third reading of the 7th meeting of the 7th session amongst the 7th Appointed Date held on April 1, 2011 to establish “Agency Against Corruption, Ministry of Justice” (hereinafter referred as AAC) on July 20, 2011.
AAC is the equivalent of the exclusive authority of ethics outlined in the UNCAC, serves to prevent and investigate corruption-related crimes, and is responsible for carrying out the nation’s ethical governance policies. Its crime investigators within are able to act as law enforcement authorities during an investigation; meanwhile, the agency has a team of resident prosecutors selected by the Ministry of Justice directly involved in the AAC’s investigations, helping to improve evidence-gathering and prosecution. So far as the investigation of corruption is concerned, AAC not only acts as a judicial police authority, but also, a prosecutorial power. AAC plans the nation’s anti-corruption strategies and coordinates with other government officials in all positions to implement these strategies. Notwithstanding the limited manpower at its disposal, the agency has been vested with the great mission to combat corruption and build up a “clean and competent government”.
For more information, please visit AAC’s website.