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Deputies call for tighter control over public assets

Update: April, 20/2017 - 17:30
National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng speaks at today’s meeting. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly deputies have agreed on the need for tighter legal controls over property given for free or as gifts by individuals and organisations to State agencies.

To make this happen, relevant changes should be made to the Law on the Use and Management of Public Assets, the deputies said, as the 14th tenure of the NA Standing Committee continued its ninth meeting on today morning.

The morning discussions focused on further amendments to the draft Law on the Use and Management of Public Assets.

According to National Assembly Vice Chairwoman Tòng Thị Phóng, the draft law aims to improve implementation of the Law Against Corruption and the Law on Practising Thrift and Combating Waste.

“This purpose should be mentioned clearly in the law to meet the expectations of constituents,” she said.

Quite a few violations in receiving and using assets given for free or as presents have been reported recently, especially cars and properties used for personal purposes, evoking negative public responses, said Nguyễn Đức Hải, chairman of NA Finance and Budget Committee.

Deputies expressed reservations about an additional provision banning the use of cars and other properties given for free or as presents by individuals and organisations.

“The use of these cars should not be banned. How presented cars and other properties are dealt with is more important," said Nguyễn Hạnh Phúc, head of the NA Office.

While it is unacceptable that such properties are used for personal purposes, there must be some consideration if the assets are liquidated for humanitarian purposes, Phúc said.

Nguyễn Văn Giàu, chairman of NA Committee for External Relations, posed a rhetorical question:  “How about some special cases in which ambulances are given as gifts to localities, provincial or district-level hospitals? These cases need specific regulations.”

The deputies reached a final consensus on not banning the use of cars as presents, insisting instead on a focus on ensuring they are used for the right purposes.

Transparent liquidation

Nguyễn Thanh Hải, head of the NA Ombudsman Committee mentioned voters’ comments on wasting public assets when demolishing pavements which are still in good conditions.

“Which agency assures that they are no longer qualified to be used?” she asked.

The question of who is authorised to assess whether public assets have gone “out of date” was a worrying one in the context of the drive to fight corruption as well as waste, deputies noted.

Following new regulation on the liquidation of public vehicles, some 7,000 are set to become redundant, according to Party Central Committee’s Commission for Publicity and Education, Hải said.

She said she was concerned about these cars being auctioned in a non-transparent manner.

The deputies concluded that liquidation of public assets should be a public, transparent affair, and money collected thus be sent to the State exchequer.

NA Vice Chairman Phùng Quốc Hiển said that the draft law must also clearly clarify responsibilities of the Government, the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Ministry of Finance in using and managing public assets. He urged the drafting committee to review the law and ensure its relevance with other laws. — VNS







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