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Gov't inspectors come under scrutiny at National Assembly

Update: August, 23/2012 - 09:57

 

Government Inspector General Huynh Phong Tranh answers deputies' questions in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Hoa
HA NOI — Land-related complaints and denunciations, violations by State-owned groups and corporations, and shortcomings in preventing corruption stirred the question-and-answer session held by the National Assembly Standing Committee yesterday.

Government Inspector General Huynh Phong Tranh dealt with most of the questions.

In the fight against corruption, many deputies showed dissatisfaction about the limited quality of inspections, the slow implementation of any conclusions – and the handling of complaints and denunciations.

Tranh admitted that implementation of conclusions was slow, adding that from 2007-11, less than half of violations involving money and less than 20 per cent of those involving land had been dealt with.

"The figures are disappointing," he said, adding that an organisation in charge of supervising the implementation of inspection conclusions needed to be set up.

Deputy Le Nhu Tien asked why less than one per cent of violations were sent for investigation while the rest were treated administratively.

The session was told that land violations involved thousands of hectares and trillions of dong. Deputy Pham Xuan Thuong from Thai Binh Province said administrative measures seemed to be too lax to prevent corruption.

Tranh replied that the quality of inspections would be enhanced, stating that after inspecting five State-owned groups and corporations, three were named for legal investigations.

He said that, in addition, greater efforts would be made to eliminate harassment of inspectors during inspections.

Replying to a query from Legal Committee vice-chairman Nguyen Dinh Quyen about the limited contribution of inspectors in uncovering corruption, Tranh said "it is really a hard job".

He said that the Government Inspectorate would propose an amendment to the Law on Corruption Prevention to make it work better and to enhance the accountability of those in charge.

Vice-chairwoman of the Legal Department, Le Thi Nga, also questioned Tranh about the Inspectorate's appointment of ex-Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) chairman Duong Chi Dung, who is now wanted by police, to lead the Ministry of Transport's Maritime Department.

Tranh said the Government Inspectorate was not consulted about Dung's appointment. So, it did not have the right to intervene although inspections were under way at that time.

However, Tranh's answer did not satisfy Nga. Nga said the Minister of Transport said that the ministry did not receive any comments from inspectors about the appointment of Dung.

According to Deputy Minister of Public Security Pham Quy Ngo, inspectors should transfer cases where crimes were suspected for immediate criminal investigation rather than hold back until they reached their own conclusions.

Regarding the handling of complaints and denunciations, Tranh said land-related complaints and denunciations made up 70 per cent of the total number nation-wide.

At the end of last year, there were 528 outstanding cases to be tackled, which could remain a headache for years.

Tranh said the Government Inspectorate had set up 25 groups of inspectors to check problems in 51 provinces and cities. To date, 300 cases were being handled.

"Solving land complaints and denunciations is complicated and requires time," he added.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang promised that all outstanding cases would be "basically handled" by the end of this year.

Tranh said the Government, ministries and local authorities must ensure transparency in handling complaints and denunciations to create trust – and to prevent complaints being raised again and again.

The 10th session of the 13th National Assembly Standing Committee closed yesterday after eight working days. — VNS

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