Nguyen Doan Khanh, deputy head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs, spoke with Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economics Times) about anti-corruption measures.
Will you please further elaborate on the commission's decision to give cash awards for valuable information relating to serious corruption cases?
I can say that more recently, the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs has implemented a policy to give cash awards for valuable information that leads to public exposure of serious corruption. Up to now, we have paid for more than a dozen pieces of valuable information related to corruption cases.
The information has helped us to further consolidate our information collection in bringing suspected culprits to court, including those involved in the Vinaline case. These valuable pieces of information have helped us to take the cases to court much quicker than expected.
What are the legal foundations for the commission to decide in "paying" the informants VND500,000–1 million ($25–500) depending on the reliability of the information?
The amount depends on the reliable level of the information. The head of the commission takes the final decision on the value of the information.
I must say the information sources we receive are all in time and effective. However, at present, most of the people (the informants) who provide us with information want to contribute to the fight against corruption. They do not care about the "payment" they will receive.
If the payment mechanism is considered as "secret," how can it be monitored to make sure the right person receives the money?
Under the law, all Internal Affairs Sub-Commissions at the city/provincial levels have to make annual budget plans for their activities. They will then submit their budget proposal to the Provincial/City Party Committees for approval. And the sub-commission heads will take the responsibility for each payment and monitor the level of reliability and value of the information provided by the informants.
As I have already mentioned, the payment ceiling is $500 for a reliable piece of information.
Some people have suggested that the payment money should be taken from the money recovered from the corruption case. What do you think about the idea?
At present, the payment money comes from the state budget. If in the future, a part of the recovered money from corruption cases is used to buy equipment and to support staff who are directly involved in combating corruption as well as to pay for "the informants," I think our fight against corruption will be more effective.
In which areas did your commission receive most of the information?
Majority of the information are received from areas that have potential for corruption, particularly land management, finance, state budget and budget allocation, as well as credits.
I believe that the amount of $500 for a valuable piece of information is not the driving force for the people supporting us in the fight against corruption. But, according to them, it is our acknowledgement of their great contribution to the fight against anti-corruption. We hope, in the future, when we have more money, we will lift the present payment ceiling to encourage more people to join us in combating corruption.
Do we have a mechanism to protect the "informant"?
Of course, we take all measures to ensure their safety. That is why we are applying the "secret payment" mechanism. — VNS