If major corruption cases are ulcers, their petty counterparts are lice, Do Van Duong from the National Assembly Commission for Legal Affairs tells Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today).
What should Viet Nam do to eradicate petty corruption?
In our country, petty corruption often occurs at a smaller scale and within established social frameworks and governing norms. This could happen to an innocent clerk[Q1] who is in charge of his/her office's seal or clerks who are involved in granting the so do (red book) for their clients and others.
If major corruption cases are considered ulcers in our bodies, these types of petty corruption cases are body lice.
The value of each case of petty corruption is small, but if they are aggregated together in Viet Nam, the total will become significant.
What is more serious is that petty corruption slings mud to the image of our society and causes anxiety to the general public towards our regime.
Thus, simplifying our administrative procedures is imperative, so that chances of petty corruption will not occur. To achieve this, a strong mechanism is required, including streamlining the public servants who fail to perform their duties. In addition, the salary system must be reformed to encourage government officials and public employees in increasing their work efficiency.
Voters across the country have complained that the ongoing anti-corruption fight is not as efficient. How do you respond to that?
In the fight against criminals, including corrupters, two dimensions are important—prevention and combating.
In the fight against corruption, two essential activities have to be implemented—conducting investigations and bringing the criminals to court. However, between the two dimensions, we consider prevention is essential. Thus, in the economic field, more attention must be paid to the management mechanism.
But I am afraid this is one of our weak points at present. Corrupt people have abused loopholes in our policies for their benefits.
So, it is high time to build a strong legal system so that corrupt people have no chance to rear their heads. In addition, policies on auditing activities should be established, including both public and independent auditors, particularly projects using the state budget.
Do you think the policy that requires all government officials to declare their assets is an effective measure in preventing corruption?
Clearly, the act of controlling government officials' asset is not as important as that of controlling their income.
As is widely known, assets are not only pieces of land, buildings and money deposited in credit organisations or precious metals they have.
I suggest the government officials' monthly income or even their "abnormal" income should be monitored.
However, monitoring the monthly income of all government officials is not possible.
Only those who have the potential for major corruption should be selected. — VNS