Vietnam News Agency spoke to independent consultant Tran Tien Cuong about the monitoring of State-owned enterprises and corporations
It is said that one of the reasons for the ineffectiveness of many State-owned enterprises (SOEs) is the weak monitoring of these enterprises. What do you think?
There are two issues effecting the monitoring of SOEs that we must consider.
The first problem is that the evaluation work has not been professional as there is no agency specialising in this area.
We have not had an appropriate foundation to build from, and the information database has been insufficient to evaluate economic corporations from the time of their establishment. This means financial reports have sometimes been inadequate. I think the targets set for enterprises should be more detailed so that we have a base from which we can evaluate more effectively.
The second issue is that the guidance for agencies in charge of SOEs has been unclear. We have failed to clarify specific details in each sector, making it difficult to have an overview on the finance and business effectiveness of corporations. We also don't take into account the other important tasks SOEs may have been asked to undertake outside of these two main areas.
We have lacked qualified human resources to collect and evaluate the information thoroughly, helping to accurately analyse the performance of SOEs.
Now there are many agencies monitoring different SOEs. Do you think this causes difficulties and cases of overlap?
There are still many SOEs in different sectors to be monitored, so we need to have clear assignment between agencies and decentralise the process.
Improved co-ordination is needed to make sure a consensus is reached regarding the roles and responsibilities of different agencies undertaking monitoring.
In the recent past, co-ordination has fallen well below the required level.
The National Assembly has lately demonstrated better supervision of SOEs and State corporations. I hope the assembly can enhance its role to become more active, as it represents the people who need to see these enterprises being correctly supervised and evaluated.
What should be done to better monitor SOEs?
We should – and this is most important - have detailed and responsible measures in place that increase and clarify monitoring criteria. Then we can improve the co-ordination among relevant agencies.
SOEs and State corporations should see themselves as part of the market economy, especially as they operate under the Law of Enterprises.
They must all be treated equally and without bias, with the role of the State decreasing and being gradually taken over by the monitors.
Above all we must know what the enterprises are doing and whether they are successful in meeting their targets. We must not, however, interfere in their operations too deeply as our role is not to distract but to support. — VNS