Last updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Anti-Corruption: The Fight of All People

Posted: Tuesday, November 06, 2018

In the market economy, the gap between the rich and poor is growing, some social values are inverted, and everyone is under a growing pressure to make money, resulting in the perception that anything is tradeable. This, in turn, has raised corruption by arousing acts of law violation among public officials seeking illicit riches or appropriating people’s and State’s money.

Incomplete and inconsistent laws
According to the Action Plan for Enhancing Integrity in Business - the Office for Business Sustainable Development under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), the current legal and policy system in Vietnam is incomplete and inconsistent. The distribution of authority between central and local levels, the discrimination of State management and business management is somewhat unclear.

Besides, the privatisation of State-owned enterprises (SOEs) is slow-moving and loosely managed. Public asset management and SOEs’ capital and asset management remain loose. Some cultural etiquettes such as gift-giving are used for bribery.

The Law on Anti-corruption of Vietnam clearly stipulates that “Heads and deputy heads of agencies or spouses of such persons must not contribute capital to enterprises operating within the scope of branches and trades they administer. They cannot install their spouses, parents, children and siblings to hold managerial positions in charge of personnel, accountancy, cashiering, storekeeping in agencies, organisations and units or transacting, purchasing and selling materials and goods, or signing contracts for those agencies, organisations and units.” (Article 37 of the Law on Anti-corruption 2005).

Despite these regulations, law enforcement is loose and supervision is underestimated. One of the clearest cases that helped us realise this is the case of Ms Phan Thi My Thanh, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee and Head of Dong Nai National Assembly Member Delegation. During her tenure as Member of the Provincial Party Committee, Director of the Department of Industry and Trade, and Secretary of Nhon Trach District Party Committee, she still ran Cuong Hung Co., Ltd., founded by his husband, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Besides, administrative reform is still slow and confusing. The “give-and-take” mechanism is still popular in public service and there are no special remedies to road traffic. Many traffic police officers demand money indirectly, even publicly.

Furthermore, the responsibility regime of public employees is unclear, especially the responsibility of leaders for bad deeds seen in their units.

The salary regime for civil servants is still unreasonable, slowly reformed. Many low-paid workers do not have enough money to make ends meet, leading to corrupt acts given the conditions and opportunities.

According to the Action Plan for Enhancing Integrity in Business, the Office for Business Sustainable Development under the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), in addition to the above reasons, corruption still exists and grows because the resistance has not engaged all people and authorities.

What are the solutions to resist corruption?
According to the Action Plan for Enhancing Integrity in Business, one of the most important measures to prevent corruption is publicity and transparency of operations of administrative units. This will help people know their rights and obligations to actively abide by the law as well as require State agencies and officials to do the same.

In addition, publicity and transparency make public servants more aware of their duties and responsibilities in correspondence to procedures, order and authority stipulated by the law.

The second solution to forbear spreading corruption is developing and implementing regimes, norms and standards relating to public asset, capital and budget management.

Thirdly, in order to combat corruption, there is no better way than strengthening or controlling activities of public servants. In addition, to some extent, there is a need to control some of their social relationships that may be abused for corrupt acts.

In addition to adopting basic corruption resistance solutions, the Party and the State should continue to review, amend and supplement legal documents on socioeconomic management, especially in areas where there is a risk of corruption such as business or in such areas as land, natural resources, minerals and investment projects carried out in BOT and BT forms.

At the same time, it is necessary to speed up the investigation, prosecution and trial of serious and complex corruption cases, especially those found by the Central Steering Committee for Anti-corruption.

Quynh Chi

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