More international co-operation needed to fight corruption
HA NOI — Viet Nam needs stronger international co-operation to prevent and combat corruption, said international experts and senior State officials at a joint workshop organised by the Government and the United Nations (UN) yesterday.
Nguyen Tuan Anh, deputy director of the Government Inspectorate's Legal Department said Viet Nam would further study international experts' recommendations towards promoting global co-operation in anti-corruption, especially in 360 degree collaboration from investigating right through to prosecution.
Results of the first self-assessment of Viet Nam's implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), said to be the only global legally-binding instruction in the fight against corruption, were also revealed at the workshop.
The self-assessment provides a review of national anti-corruption systems, laws, policies and programmes to implement Chapter 3 and 4 of the Convention, which deal with criminalisation and law enforcement, as well as international co-operation.
According to Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, the country has adopted and fully implemented 77 per cent of the assessed chapters, is partially compliant with 16 per cent and non compliant with 7 per cent.
Non-compliance, as Mehta pointed out, was particularly found in the areas of illicit enrichment, bribery in the private sector, translation of legislation concerning money laundering, liability of legal persons, extradition provisions and joint investigations.
For an example of non-compliance, Tuan Anh said the Convention's provision viewed the act of promising benefits and showing intentions to commit bribery as an offence, while Viet Nam was often able to punish only those having realised these intentions because it was difficult to prosecute those who had only showed intentions of bribery guilty without actual proof.
He said the international expert group involved in the review of Viet Nam's UNCAC implementation also called for an overhaul of the Penal Code for corruption, with focus on modifying the provisions for bribery.
He added that bribery provisions should also be made for employees of international organisations, while measures to protect whistleblowers and witnesses should be made more specific.
Officials from the Government Inspectorate said these comments would be re-considered and applied in harmony with the circumstances of Viet Nam.
Bryan Fornari, deputy head of Co-operation and Development at the Delegation of the European Union to Viet Nam, expressed his delegation's hope that the UNCAC self-assessment report would provide substance into the revision of Viet Nam's anti-corruption law. — VNS