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VietNamNews

Asset declarations to beef up anti-corruption legislation

Update: August, 25/2012 - 09:50

Government deputy inspector-general Nguyen Duc Hanh spoke about the revised Anti-Corruption Law that will require cadres and civil servants to declare their assets.

Self declaration of as-sets and property and accountability for what cadres and civil servants declare will be included in the proposed changes to the existing Anti-Corruption Law. Could you expand on this for us?

In the fight against corruption, prevention is an important pillar. However, what has captured the most attention from the community and Government agencies is the transparency and accountability in self-declarations by cadres and civil servants. For example, land use and forest planning are two of the most sensitive areas with potential for corruption.

We are focusing on developing a template for self-declaration of income and assets for cadres or civil servants, and what exactly should be included in the template. We also have to think about how we will verify changes to their declarations. There is a lot of work to be done!

In the proposed revision of the Anti-Corruption Law, the Government Inspectorate proposes that all party members, except retirees and farmers, should make self declarations, is that right?

I think to fill out a self-declaration form is a normal thing. If you haven't done anything wrong, why should you be afraid? Of course, to do this, we must have a road map. For example, when, where and what should be included in the form. In addition, a very important element is who should have to make the declarations.

In the past, cadres and civil servants volunteered to make similar self-declarations but the information provided was inaccurate. What do you expect the results to be this time?

We have thought about this, but it is a long process and we've only just started. It is too early to talk about this matter in detail.

Should their declarations be made public?

As I mentioned above, transparency is an important factor, but we have to think about this issue thoroughly before making it law to avoid unwanted mishaps.

Will people that make false disclosures be punished under the amended anti-corruption law?

In the proposed changes to the law, cadres and civil servants will be required to provide an explanation if their assets have changed. If they cannot explain why or their explanations are unconvincing, they will be in trouble. Of course, the law will spell out the penalty mechanism.

In the process of revising the law, Government Inspectors will work closely with relevant agencies and consult with the Government and the Politburo.

Do you think it will be tough to ensure that declarations are accurate?

Accuracy is a top priority and a must in the efforts to fight corruption. We'll try our best to incorporate all the workable ideas into the law, decrees and guidlines.

When the law is in place, we'll work out mechanisms to handle violations. — VNS

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