Sunday, March 24 2019

VietNamNews

No such thing as a free lunch

Update: March, 05/2019 - 09:00
A sheet showing the costs of meals incurred by a district people’s committee office in Nghệ An, reported by a local restaurant. Several eateries are accusing the office of failing to repay its debts. — Photo tienphong.vn
Viet Nam News

NGHỆ AN — In a rather rare public embarrassment, a number of restaurants in a district of central Nghệ An province are accusing the authorities of skipping the bill after they hosted guests at the eateries.

The owner of Minh Mùi restaurant, Phan Thị Thanh Mùi, said the district’s People’s Committee office had treated many of its guests to meals at the restaurant between 2011 and 2013, resulting in debts of VNĐ162 million. The authorities have only recently repaid part of this amount (VNĐ70 million).

The restaurant run by the district People’s Committee Office itself also said it is running a whopping debt of VNĐ1.4 billion, as confirmed by the office chief in 2015.

Another restaurant is also claiming that the district’s authorities owe nearly half a billion đồng.

Vice chairman of the District People’s Committee, Vi Mỹ Sơn, said the committee office did not list the standing debts throughout the years in the annual balance sheets, resulting in these overdue payments while the owners of the restaurants were not really willing to pursue the matter with the authorities.

The vice chairman said the issue was first discovered late last year and reviews were carried out immediately. He claimed that the payments are not as high as claimed.

Further accounting reviews are being undertaken to make sure that the due payments will be paid to the restaurants while uncovering negligent staff members to blame for the issue. They will be fined in accordance with the laws.

“The responsibility falls not on a single person but on multiple heads and accountants of the People’s Committee Office throughout the years,” Sơn told Tiền phong newspaper.— VNS

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