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Last updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2019


More Drastic in Public Property Management

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2018

Certain results have been produced in public assets management aimed to avoid loss and waste. On the sidelines of a press conference on May 25, Vietnam Business Forum has an interview with Mr Tran Duc Thang, Director General of the Public Asset Management Department. Le Hien reports.

Fixing the budget of using automobiles has helped significantly reduce public cars and budgets used. However, in 2017, the State Budget still spent more than VND1 trillion on buying new public vehicles amidst tight budget context. What do you think about this?

Fixing the budget of using automobiles has contributed to significantly reducing the number of public cars in service; reducing the cost of using and operating cars; reducing the number of drivers; and increasing the performance of public cars. The new move proved not affecting overall activities of impacted units and officials, thus creating positive impacts on people and media. Using public cars for personal purposes is hardly seen. In 2017, we spent more than VND1 trillion to buy 1,081 new cars, of which 22 are used for vice ministers or higher-ranked officials who have no existing public cars in service, 366 cars for general work, 693 cars for specialised purposes such as ambulances and money trucks. In general, localities spent more than central authorities on purchasing public vehicles.

The Government reported to the National Assembly on management and use of public assets. Could you please tell us about remarkable results in managing and using public assets over the years?

Carrying out the Law on Management and Use of State Property of 2008, the Ministry of Finance has annually reported to the Government on management and use of state property which is then submitted to the National Assembly. After analysing reports, we found that the public asset management had achieved important results. We gradually improved laws on management and use of public assets. Since 2009, the Ministry of Finance has submitted to competent authorities, or within its competence, promulgated one law, 26 governmental decrees, 14 Prime Minister decisions, and 42 ministerial circulars on management and use of public assets. Using cars for wrong purposes like for personal use or leasing has been considerably reduced. Reorganising and handling houses, land and cars to ensure management and use of public assets has been performed according to standards and norms.

Specially, there is a clear demarcation of public assets managed by central authorities and those managed by local authorities. This has been consistently implemented since 1998 (according to Decree 14/1998/ND-CP dated March 6, 1998). They decide on buying, using, operating and handling assets they have bought within their competence. The Ministry of Finance performs the function of State management over public assets in the administrative and non-business sector, assets of projects funded with State budget and financial management of other assets. The State management of land, natural resources and infrastructure is performed by ministries according to their assigned tasks. The valuation of land is based on land laws and instructions from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Land prices are calculated by local authorities and decided by provincial-level government. The auction of public assets is carried out in line with laws on property auction. This decentralisation is critical to management of public assets.

Although decentralisation has been clearly applied, loss and waste has been still found in public housing and land management. How will we deal with this?

Land is a type of public asset defined in the Constitution of 2013. However, the Law on Management and Use of Public Assets of 2017 only regulates general principles of management and use of financial resources relating to land and the Ministry of Finance is responsible for assisting the Government in drafting documents on financial policies relating to land such as land use fees, land rents, land taxes, fees and charges. Such contents as land planning, land-use planning, land allocation, land lease, land transfer, land conversion, capital contribution or mortgage of land are administered by natural resources and environment agencies and other stakeholders.

After reviews were performed for re-arranging and settlement, we found that land and houses are basically used for right purposes and functions. After house and land rearrangements were conducted (including land owned by State-owned enterprises), we transferred 621 house and land asset items to local authorities; revoke 641 house and land items; requested for the termination of lease, lending and association on land in contrary to law.

However, inspections showed that some cases of asset selling and transfer were not performed according to law, resulting losses and waste. The causes are attributed to the carrying out stage of competent agencies that have assets and competent valuating agencies.

To deal with this reality, we must synchronously carry out many solutions: Consistently carrying out the Law on Management and Use of Public Property of 2017 and guiding documents for implementation for competent agencies; further reviewing and amending relevant legal documents to address legal loopholes such as land valuation and property auction; building electronic transaction systems for public assets; ensuring publicity, transparency and avoidance of losses; and intensifying inspections, examinations, audits and strict handles of acts of violation in management and use of public assets. This inspection, examination and audit must be conducted right from preventive stages and community-based monitoring must be further strengthened.

Thank you very much!

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