Anti-corruption laws fall short
HCM CITY (VNS)— New laws and regulations aimed at curbing corruption in the public sector have not been effective, heard a conference held in HCM City yesterday.
The conference, organised by the Government Inspectorate, discussed draft strategies on ensuring oversight over the incomes of senior public officials and other regulations aimed at curbing corruption.
Speaking at the conference, Le Tien Hao, deputy head of the Inspectorate, said anti-corruption regulations such as the Personal Income Tax Law and regulations on non-cash payments and gifts in cash given to public officials were difficult to implement.
In particular, the regulation requesting declaration of incomes among public officials was left mostly unimplemented, as there was no mechanism for ensuring accountability or for the inspection of the declared properties, and no specific punitive policies for fraud, said Hao.
Regulations on giving and receiving gifts, in addition, were not practical and lacked specific punitive measures, according to participants at the conference.
Nguyen Quoc Hiep, head of the Inspection Research Institute, stressed the importance of adopting key measures such as limits on cash payments.
The draft strategy on control over the incomes of senior public officials, therefore, proposed a specific regulation stating that payments of VND200 million (US$9,600) or more must be made through bank transactions.
Do Van Duong, member of the Judiciary Committee, said this regulation can be implemented immediately without posing any difficulties.
As requested by the Prime Minister, the Government Inspectorate is working towards the completion of the strategy on oversight over the incomes of senior public officials.
The inspectorate was urged to issue a legal regulation requesting more accountability from those who fail to make genuine declarations of their incomes and to explain the sources of their incomes, plus specifying punishment for false declarations.
Participants at the two-day conference, which closed yesterday, said non-salary incomes of public officials were often collected from different sources, and if not revealed might hide corrupt activities. — VNS