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Nation must prevent corruption in public project management

Update: September, 25/2012 - 10:35

Tran Ngoc Vinh of the National Assembly Legal Commitee told Thoi bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) the country must address corruption as part of its public investment restructuring.

Corruption in public investment has been talked about quite a lot. Is winning this fight one of the key objectives of our public investment restructure?

We're now working towards a clean public administration. To achieve that, we must put a stop to corruption or bribery in the project process.

There have been stories in the media about authorities accepting bribes to give the green light to projects. When I asked the Minister of Planning and Investment about this, he told me: "If I say no, you will not believe me. It is not easy to catch people in the act, red-handed."

However, in my opinion, the issue is to put a mechanism in place to prevent this type of corruption, a bad procedure in our country.

Public investment over the last decade has been subject to this bribery mechanism. During budget allocation, the ministry outlines a set of criteria for funding allocation. Yet I have never seen a good assessment of a project's implementation. That's why I say: if we want to make the public investment restructure a success, it is imperative to scrap bribery.

The ministry has preventative measures against graft. Are they enough?

They are not enough. We have to introduce a sanctioning and awarding mechanism.

In the management of investment capital from the State budget and Government bonds, it is important to have good rules on the management of funds – not only for project approvals, but also for budget allocation, the disbursement of funds and to make sure projects are completed according to schedule.

Information transparency and accountability is a must in the approval process of any project.

To that end, it is important to strengthen the supervising system.

Does the private-public-partnership model (PPP) put a stop to bribery in projects?

Yes, the PPP model is a good one as it mobilises capital investment from the private sector, particularly in development of infrastructure and enviromental protection. This model has been widely applied in many countries and has proven effective in encouraging different stakeholders to get involved in building technical or social infrastructure.

The Government should issue legal documents to enable the PPP model to be applied easily and to help avoid risks to investors. — VNS

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