Viet Nam's campaign against corruption continues to progress, although the lack of a system to control corruption is a major impediment, financial expert Bui Kien Thanh told Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper.
Though the Party Central Committee has recently issued a Resolution vowing to step up the fight against corruption, not much progress seems to have been made. Do you know what are the reasons behind this?
In the anti-corruption campaign, all government officials are required to declare their assets annually. But the issue here is the weak enforcement of the law.
Quite a large number of government officials have filed in their asset declarations; yet, no one bothers to monitor what has been filed in the papers and what is happening in real life. The asset declaration files are piling up in the cabinets of the offices.
The resolution adopted at the 4th Party Central Committee has highlighted the party's resolution to end corruption at all levels.
The document states clearly that if any government official is found to have made false declarations, he/she will be dismissed from the current position. If it is a serious case, he/she will be prosecuted.
I am confident that the party's firm stand in the fight against corruption will help to improve the situation and win the people's trust.
What measures should be introduced to limit and then gradually eliminate power abuse by certain groups of government officials?
The spread of corruption by certain groups of government officials has been reflected in the media at different levels. For example, the case of a hamlet chief in Tien Phong Commune, in Thuong Tin District, Ha Noi, or the case in Thuong Lan Commune, Viet Yen District, Bac Giang Province, about 90 km from Ha Noi.
These two local government officials had allegedly illegally sold quite a few pieces of land to earn billions of dong. But the issue here is who will take the decision to punish the two officials? Does the Chairman of the Communal People's Committee have the right to punish his subordinate?
In my opinion, we need to have a strong system to control corruption. I do not believe we lack the necessary legal documents in the fight against corruption, particularly the Anti Corruption Law. It is high time that we turn the law into life!
The Resolution of the Party Central Committee 4 is an effective tool that can be used in this fight.
"If any government official is found to be corrupt, then his/her illegal assets will be revoked and will become common property," the Party Resolution states.
Do you think that Viet Nam should make public the annual expenditure of senior government officials as is practised in some western countries?
In some countries, the budget law regulation is very strict about the public or private expenditure of their presidents.
But in Viet Nam, I believe, there are some loopholes in the state budget law. That is why some senior government officials have misused public money for their own interest.
We are living in a world ruled by law. Everyone is equal before law. So, people from all walks of life should participate in the fight against corruption. If this happens, I am confident we will be successful in the anti-corruption campaign. — VNS