Viet Nam News
Lê Thanh Vân, a standing member of the Finance and Budget Committee of the National Committee talks to the newspaper Tiền Phong (Vanguard) on the need to highlight the idea of transparency in the Law on Anti Corruption.
Under the current draft Anti-Corruption Law only the wife or husband and children under 18 years old will be listed in asset paper declarations. Many have complained that the law will create a loophole for people to falsify their assets. How do you respond to that?
The tools in the fight against corruption are legal financial barriers, the budget and the management of public assets. If they are all properly managed, whether the law requires more or fewer people to declare their assets is of no importance.
Our present legal corridor on the management of State finance, the budget and public assets is still weak and cannot fully prevent corruption or embezzlement. We hope that when the Anti-Corruption Law is enacted Việt Nam will be able to deter acts of corruption and embezzlement.
Following the release of the draft law, there are two types of opinion. The first is to expand the list of people that have to list their assets in the declaration, and the second is to narrow down the list.
In my opinion, what’s more important is that we review all the current legal documents which relate to the draft law so that once the Anti-Corruption Law is passed by the National Assembly, it will be able to prevent or deter any corruption act that is likely to occur. That’s the core idea we want to achieve during the process of writing the Anti-Corruption Law.
Will you please explain why the issue of “power corruption” is included in the law this time?
The drafting committee has listed four areas likely to have high corruption as follows:
First, in the course of establishing a new organisation or office, members of the drafting committee have a tendency to give more power to themselves and to people who are close to them. This is a type of power corruption.
Second, in the course of developing policies, some people are likely to take advantage for their own benefit or for that of their close relatives or partners.
Third, it relates to the personnel work. Power embezzlement has become a problem in many localities. For example, it takes place in the recruitment of new staff, in staff promotion and other areas. For many years power embezzlement has been a thorny issue in our society.
And finally, it is in the field of public asset management.
In the draft Law of Anti Corruption, these above four mentioned points have not been well treated. That’s the reason why I have listed the four areas which I myself think are the most vulnerable for people with power in their hands.
Do you think that the Anti-Corruption Law should be considered as a shield to prevent or to kill corruption?
We should not think that the law is a magic wand to eliminate corruption or to punish corruptors. Its mission is to gear toward prevention and not to prevent bad acts from happening.
We’re now living in a society ruled by the law, and it is the duty of all citizens to uphold the law. — VNS