State audit shifts focus on large projects

Update: January, 15/2019 - 08:00
Cát Linh – Hà Đông metro project in trial operation. The State Audit Office of Việt Nam plans to focus on mega projects this year. – VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The State Audit Office of Việt Nam (SAV) will focus on auditing large projects this year with the aim of preventing losses and improving the efficiency of State capital use, General Auditor Hồ Đức Phớc said.

“Focus will be placed on auditing issues of public concern and projects which were causing losses to give recommendations for improving public finance management policies,” he said.

Phớc said mega projects to be audited include the Bến Thành – Suối Tiên and Cát Linh – Hà Đông projects and the VNĐ10 trillion flood prevention project in HCM City. In addition, audits would be carried out on the refunding of value-added taxes, information technology application in the general departments of taxation and customs and build-transfer projects.

As the SAV was focusing on large projects, 20 per cent fewer audits will be carried out in 2019 than in the previous year.

An SAV report showed that through its 2018 audits, SAV proposed the State budget collect more than VNĐ20.5 trillion (US$890 million). It also reduced State budget expenditures by VNĐ44.4 trillion ($1.89 billion). SAV also transferred five cases with signs of violations to the police for further investigation.

It proposed amending or abolishing more than 110 legal documents to improve efficiency in tax management, natural resource management, the implementation of build-transfer and build-operate-transfer projects and the operation of economic zones, high-tech zones and the use of official development assistance funds.

According to Phạm Thanh Sơn from SAV, the audits carried out on the general departments of taxation and customs revealed problems in State budget collection, value-added tax refunds and customs declarations and clearance.

Sơn said SAV found that over the past two years, the General Department of Customs’ information system did not provide warnings or suspend customs declarations of firms with debts overdue for more than 90 days.

An error in the information system for automated customs clearance also caused a recent flood of second-hand machinery into Việt Nam, Sơn said.

Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly Tòng Thị Phóng said the SAV contributed to tightening management disciplines, improving the efficiency of the use of public money and preventing waste and corruption.

According to Phớc, SAV would focus on enhancing auditing quality this year to improve regulation compliance.

In addition, international integration and co-operation would also be strengthened to leverage the position of SAV in the international market. — VNS