Paying large sums of money to become a public servant needs to end, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Tran Anh Tuan told Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper.
How do you respond to the allegations made during a Q&A session at the recent year end National Assembly meeting by Nguyen Thai Binh, Minister of Home Affairs, that some people have become public servants by paying huge bribes?
Yes, we have heard rumours about it and launched an investigation, but didn't find any evidence.
It can cost $5,000
At the Ha Noi People's Council meeting on December 7, Tran Trong Duc, Chief Inspector of the Ha Noi Party Committee, said that to become a public servant in Ha Noi, people have to pay around VND100 million ($5,000). Duc even pointed out that directors of district's Home Affairs Departments in Ha Noi are the ones who accepted the money.
However, to prevent such a thing happening, recruitment procedures must be transparent and accountable, as well as in alignment with standards prescribed in the laws.
In addition, the office head whose role is to select new staff should be able to choose the best candidates to fill vacant positions.
At present, our ministry is developing two proposals to revamp the process of selecting future leaders. The first proposal focuses on fostering staff for future senior positions. The second one is a pilot project that requires staff probation before promotion to management rank.
Hypothetically, if the report from the Ha Noi authorities confirmed that the allegations were fake, would the story be closed?
No, I don't think so. The person who raised the problem was Tran Trong Duc who is the Chief Inspector of the Ha Noi Party Committee. He said he has the evidence and I believe in what Duc has said. It is our duty now, to invest the case.
We have sent an official letter to the Ha Noi People's Committee and asked them to write a report on staff recruitment in general and particularly the case that has been brought up by Chief Inspector Tran Trong Duc. The report must be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) by December 25, 2012.
In addition, the MOHA also instructed the Department of Public Servants and Employees to co-operate with the Ministry's Inspectors and the Legal Affairs Department to establish a mission to inspect staff recruitment carried out by the Ha Noi authorities.
The inspectors are asked to review the past test procedures, including the answer sheets of all candidates in 2012, in order to check if the tests were conducted in conformity with the laws.
According to rumours, paying a huge sum of money to become a civil servant is a common problem in many localities in Viet Nam. Will the MOHA conduct inspections in other provinces?
One of the duties assigned by the Government to the MOHA is to manage public servants nationwide. That's why every year we develop inspection plans and work closely with relevant Government agencies to organise staff recruitment tests and make sure they are in alignment with the laws.
Did the inspection missions detect any violation cases?
Yes, they did. But none of them was on such a serious corruption case as mentioned above.
Of course, it is not easy for the inspectors to detect corruption acts during their missions. When we accuse someone of taking a bribe, we must have evidence. Often, the giver and the taker are clever enough to avoid being caught red handed. In my opinion, it is impossible to detect bribery acts after the test. But before the test, we must. But we should have support from police surveillance teams. — VNS