The Origin of the Commission Against Corruption of Macao

The Commission Against Corruption of Macao (CCAC) is an organization dedicated to combating corruption and handling administrative redress.  Its predecessor is the “High Commission Against Corruption and Administrative Illegality”, abbreviated to “ACCCIA”.

Looking back at the establishment of the “ACCCIA”, its realization, which took a total of 17-year entanglement, was a result of the efforts and constant requests of the Macao population.  From its incubation to establishment, the process can be divided roughly into 6 stages:

1.      In 1975, the Governor, José Eduardo Garcia Leandro suggested the creation of an entity dedicated to fighting corruption.

2.      From 1975 to 1986, the success achieved by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of Hong Kong impacted the Macao citizens and provoked a strong request for the establishment of an organization that could prevent and solve the serious corruption verified at that time.

3.      In 1987, the Legislative Assembly elaborated a law named “Penal Regime of Corruption” aimed to clean up corruption.

4.      In 1990, the Legislative Assembly approved of the law regarding the powers of the ACCCIA.

5.      In 1991, the Governor, Vasco Rocha Vieira nominated Mr. Justice Jorge Alberto Aragão Seia from Portugal as the High Commissioner of the ACCCIA.

6.      In 1992, the Legislative Assembly approved of the Organizational Law of the ACCCIA.

In March 1992, after having its Organizational Law, the ACCCIA formally recruited staff and started functioning.  In other words, it took Macao 17 years to have its own organization dedicated exclusively to combating corruption.

At that time, the ACCCIA was an entity equivalent to the office of an Under-Secretary (today’s Secretary), with independence from the administrative system headed by the Governor.  However, the ACCCIA was neither a judicial nor procuratorial authority.  It was not conducted by the governor nor by the Legislative Assembly.  It can be said that the ACCCIA was a relatively independent unit.

The Establishment of the CCAC
The Special Administrative Region of Macao was established on 20th December, 1999. The Commission Against Corruption was established in the Macao Special Administrative Region according to Article no. 59 of the Basic Law.  The CCAC shall function independently and its Commissioner shall be accountable to the Chief Executive.  The CCAC adopts the dual-function of anti-corruption and ombudsman.

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