An Executive Order has been issued setting out ways to support the role of the Monitoring Committee on Discipline of Public Security Forces, in order to enhance the body’s independence, its representative role on behalf of the community, and its powers of oversight.
Executive Order No 160/2019 was published on Monday (14 October) in the Macao SAR Gazette. It will become effective from 1 November 2019.
Major amendments to the Monitoring Committee’s administration include that the body will be overseen by the city’s Chief Executive. Since the committee’s creation in 2005 it had been working under the supervision of the official tasked with the role of Secretary of Security.
Under the new arrangements, the secretary of the Monitoring Committee will no longer be appointed by Macao’s Secretary for Security. The committee will instead be supported by a secretariat, headed by a secretary-general appointed by the Chief Executive, to be chosen based on recommendation from the Secretary for Security.
In addition, the Secretary for Security will no longer be responsible for appointing people to advise the Monitoring Committee. There will be two advisors, rather than one as previously, and they will be appointed by Macao’s Chief Executive.
The Secretary for Security will be permitted to make a candidate recommendation for only one of the advisory jobs.
According to the Executive Order, the Monitoring Committee will see an expansion of its membership, from seven to 11 people. Its members should be people with a track record of positive contributions to the community.
The changes seek to enhance the Monitoring Committee’s representation in the community and to enhance its role and strength in overseeing the work of the city’s public security forces.
The Executive Order includes new duties for the Monitoring Committee, so as to increase the external body’s power to supervise the public security forces.
The Monitoring Committee’s supervisory power will no longer be limited to assessment of results. It will be able to carry out inquiries – within the scope possible under current legal regulations – to assess whether any reported matters are allegedly linked to: infringement of security force members’ functional duties; or unlawful acts; or to irregularity of operation. Findings of the inquiries will be submitted to relevant public security officials for their consideration as to whether disciplinary proceedings or other measures for improvement ought to be initiated.
Monday’s Executive Order mentioned the public security forces’ obligation to cooperate with the Monitoring Committee. In addition to ensuring timely communication on – and timely follow-up of – complaints received, the relevant departments of the public security forces will have to provide feedback to the Monitoring Committee regarding any actions taken by the relevant departments in the event of any serious breach of discipline or sensitive matter that might arise concerning personnel from the public security forces.
In addition, the Secretary for Security and members of the Monitoring Committee will form a working group to study any initiatives to improve the body’s exercise of supervisory and investigative powers. The Government will initiate necessary legislative procedures in a timely manner, should such a study recommend that course.