NASC discuss anti-corruption outside State sector

September, 21/2017 - 10:22

Top lawmakers yesterday discussed expanding the scope of the Law on Anti-Corruption to the non-State sector.

Top lawmakers yesterday discussed expanding the scope of the Law on Anti-Corruption to the non-State sector. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Dân

HÀ NỘI — Top lawmakers yesterday discussed expanding the scope of the Law on Anti-Corruption to the non-State sector.

Talking about the draft law yesterday afternoon, the National Assembly Standing Committee (NASC) deputies urged the drafting board to further assess shortcomings in the prevention and control of corruption.

They pointed the reasons for the shortcomings in the law’s provisions and in the implementation of the law. Deputies focused on ensuring uniformity and consistency with the legal system.

The draft revised law has reportedly extended the scope of regulations compared with the current law on handling organisations, agencies and individuals committing corruption.

However, some claim that anti-corruption measures for the non-State sector in the draft law are weak, while others think the law shouldn’t address corruption prevention outside State sectors.

Chairwoman of the NA Legal Committee Lê Thị Nga said that most of her committee’s members approved extending the regulations to the non-State sector, adding that corruption in the non-State sector has harmed healthy competition and the investment environment.

“Besides, anti-corruption in the private sector is also compulsory in accordance to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, in which Việt Nam is a member,” Nga said, adding that the 2015 Penal Code of Việt Nam also criminalised some corrupt practices in the non-State sector.

However, other deputies argued that as anti-corruption work was poor in the State sector, the law’s scope should not be widened to the private sector.

Speaking at the meeting, Standing Deputy Director of the Supreme People’s Procuracy Nguyễn Hải Phong approved of increasing the scope of the law to non-State sectors but called for careful research to avoid authorities harassing people and businesses via anti-corruption inspections.

Outer space co-operation

Also yesterday, deputies discussed a framework agreement between Việt Nam and the US on co-operation in peaceful uses of outer space.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngọc Anh said that signing the framework agreement aimed to promote co-operation between the two countries in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, on the basis of equality and mutual benefits.

“At the same time, it provides the legal basis for the implementation of specific co-operation projects in areas covered by the agreement, including: earth science, earth observation and monitoring, space science, exploration systems, space activities and related fields of mutual concerns,” he said.

The draft agreement has no provisions inconsistent with the provisions of the 2013 Constitution of Việt Nam, Anh said.

At the meeting, the majority of the NASC deputies agreed with signing the framework agreement.

However, some delegates wondered whether the exemption of liability for compensation for damage caused by aerial activity on Vietnamese territory may affect people’s livelihoods, with incidents like falling debris potentially causing loss of life, health and property of the State and people.

Therefore, delegates suggested that the issue should be studied more based on international practices in order to comply with the laws of Việt Nam, and that there should be a full assessment of possible impacts before signing the agreement.

Others suggested that the framework agreement should be reviewed, considered and take effect only after Việt Nam has fully acceded to the three UN international conventions on outer space.

The NASC asked the Government to sign the framework agreement in accordance with the international laws and study and propose amendments to relevant legal documents to ensure conformity with the agreement, ensuring the rights and interests of Việt Nam, especially including rights on property, life and health in the course of co-operation between the two countries. — VNS