Nguyen Hung Cuong, deputy director of the Social Insurance Implementation Department under Viet Nam Social Insurance (VSI), speaks to the Government's online portal about increasing cases of fraud.
Do you think the recent discovery of so many forgeries has started alarm bells ringing in the VSI?
During the process of handling unemployment insurance claims, staff in some VSI offices detect a certain number of forgeries. The claims are denied and referred to the police for investigation.
However, in late 2011 and early 2012, the number of violations has been rising and spreading, particularly in big cities and industrial parks in HCM City and the neighbouring provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai.
I think the situation has reached an alarming level, with some organisations and individuals abusing our social insurance policy to make a profit and destabilise production.
Could you elaborate about how the certificates are forged?
There are various ways to forge insurance certificates, including photocopying an original and changing the details, among others.
In some cases, the claimants bribe people such as doctors and pharmacists to provide them with false medical certificates.
In the worse case, a company was established with the sheer objective of defrauding the VSI. The company recruited pregnant women, and labour contracts were signed by both parties to make the women eligible for maternity insurance. Once their social insurance contributions were completed, the maternity money started rolling in and was split between the company and the women.
Does this sort of behaviour undermine the VSI policy?
A huge sum of the VSI money is lost in this way, as well as overheads for expenses such as staff salaries.
In addition, it affects the rights and benefits of people who participate in the VSI.
Such bad practices have negatively impacted on social law and order and the production stability of enterprises.
Some social insurance violations have recently been punished. What are your comments on that?
I can say that with efforts from the central and local governments, the situation has improved.
Social insurance departments in provinces and cities have co-ordinated with relevant agencies to investigate alleged cases and punish them.
In Binh Duong and Dong Nai, some 1,000 fake social insurance certificates were detected, and the culprits were ordered to return the money to the social insurance fund.
What measures are needed to protect the social insurance fund?
First of all, we need to investigate, detect and punish fraudulent behaviour, ranging from issuing false documents to forging certificates.
Second, employers must abide by insurance laws and uphold their responsibilities.
Provincial/city people's committees should co-operate with relevant agencies to step up their state management role to make sure insurance payments go to the right people. — VNS