|The NA this morning hears the Judicial Committee’s report. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa|
HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly’s Judicial Committee urged the Government to complete mechanisms and regulations to monitor citizens’ income, especially public servants with a focus on improving transparency and accountability as an effort to fight the country’s rampant corruption. It also recommended that disciplinary measures must be taken against those who attempt to lie and hide their assets during today’s morning session.
Chairwoman of the committee Lê Thị Nga said while the number of public servants who reported their assets during 2017 was large, very few were properly reviewed. Of the more than 1.1 million asset disclosure forms only 77 were checked, Nga cited from a committee’s report, making assets disclosure largely ineffective as a counter-corruption measure.
She said, however, the fact that a number of high-profile corruption cases that came to light and being under investigation in recent years highlighted the Government’s concrete effort in the fight against corruption.
Minister of public security Tô Lâm said criminal activities are getting more complex with criminal syndicates and interest groups working under the disguise of businesses, sometimes with the help of corrupted public servants, making it a daunting challenge for law enforcement forces.
During 2017, 854 cases were investigated with nearly 1,500 individuals prosecuted for corruption crimes and misuse of office power, some 20 per cent more than the figure of 2016, according to a report presented to the NA by Lâm.
The judicial committee, however, pointed out a number of shortcomings in the fight against corruption. Nga said the committee’s view is that the number of cases being investigated is only a fraction of corruption cases, assets recovery was ineffective and in several instances criminals were able to flee, making it even more difficult to bring those involved to justice.
She stressed the importance of transparency during the process of selecting and promoting public servants. She cited a number of instances in which nepotism resulted in unqualified and incompetent officials being promoted to hold important posts, sparking outrage from the public and undermining the country’s effort to fight corruption.
The committee advised the Gov’t to severely punish those who are in charge of corrupted officials, mismanaged offices to reflect the heavy loss they caused to society. Disciplinary actions were taken against only 39 heads of offices where corruption was revealed in 2017, according to a government report.
The NA will continue to hear reports on corruption and criminal activities during Monday’s afternoon session as well as Tuesday. — VNS