HCM CITY — The HCM City Party Committee and municipal administration need to enhance their leadership role in fighting corruption, a top official said on Wednesday.
The corruption fight also needs the participation of a vigilant citizenry and mass media, said Le Hoang Quan, Chairman of the HCM City People's Committee.
Addressing a conference held to review the city's anti-corruption efforts, he said, "Corruption is hard to discover if we lack exposure from citizens, the participation of mass media, tight supervision and control."
Participants said corruption was highest in land management, construction investment, finance, banking, social and medical insurance.
In 2011, the number of bribery cases exposed had reduced over the previous years, but corruption happened at all administrative levels, they said.
Senior officials were the main subjects of major bribes, the conference heard.
"Therefore, to achieve high efficiency in combating corruption, we must have strong co-ordination between justice offices," said Le Van Hung, deputy director of the city's Inspections Department.
He also pointed out that piling up debt and tax fraud regarding land use in big projects was a new type of corruption. Last year, around VND440 billion (US$27.5 million) in land use taxes had not been paid.
Speakers at the conference also said that most cases of corruption were exposed based on information from outsiders.
"We highly appreciate the fact that HCM City has punished leaders of these units but the city must increase supervision and inspection," said Nguyen Van Yen, deputy director of the southern office of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption.
Yen said that even in instances where details of the graft case were clear, punishment was not commensurate with the crime.
Quan reiterated the need for a concerted effort to fight corruption and wastefulness.
"Everyone must strengthen plans to carry out the National Anti-Corruption Strategy until 2020. Shortening the time it takes to resolve corruption cases and retrieving all property are urgent jobs," he said. — VNS