1mil public servants declare personal assets, only one penalized for dishonesty
VietNamNet Bridge - More than 944,000 officials and public servants had to declare their assets, but only five cases were verified and only one was punished for dishonesty, according to a Government Inspectorate report released on September 15.
Government Deputy Chief Inspector Tran Duc Luong said that it was difficult to detect corruption because the actors were usually high-ranking officials who have good knowledge of the law, good connections and relations, and mutual interest groups.
According to Luong, citizens have complained about a number of officials for their harassment, extortion and difficulties they impose on people and businesses. Corruption, waste in management and use of land, as well as credit, banking, asset and capital management caused huge economic losses and resentment among the public.
With regard to the transparency of assets and income of state officials, in 2013 more than 944,400 officials had to declare their income and assets. There were only five people whose asset declaration was verified and only one was punished for dishonesty. Six others were penalized for late declarations.
Commenting on the figures, Deputy Chair of the National Assembly Judiciary Committee, Nguyen Dinh Quyen, said that the implementation of personal asset declaration among state officials in order to curb corruption was ineffective because of a lack of a mechanism to control assets and income of officials and civil servants.
The Government Inspectorate recommended the National Assembly consider amending and supplementing the Criminal Code and the relevant documents to more clearly clarify the acts of corruption and add charges of corruption to guarantee unity between the Law on Anti-corruption and the Penal Code.
The bodies also recommended specifying the conditions for reduction and exemption of penalties for people charged with corruption who honestly declare and repair the consequences of corrupt acts before being detected.
Government’s corruption report under review
The Government’s efforts in 2014 to prevent and combat corruption were recently reviewed by the National Assembly’s Judicial Committee.
According to the report, State agencies have conducted 6,877 administrative and 150,932 targeted inspections so far, detecting violations involving VND31.5 trillion (US$1.48 billion) and 3,739 hectares of land.
Agencies proposed the retrieval of nearly VND30 trillion (US$1.14 billion) to the State budget, along with 2,689 hectares of land, as well as further inspections on over VND4.5 trillion and 1,050 hectares of land.
As many as 1,552 groups and 2,753 individuals were proposed to be punished for their responsibilities in these detected violations.
State agencies handled 373,975 citizen complaints, proposing the retrieval of VND854.9 billion and 81.3 hectares of land for the State and citizens; applying administrative penalties to 764 violators; and handing over 25 cases involving 102 individuals to investigation agencies.
Members of the committee agreed that the report accurately reflected the results of inspections while acknowledging the complexity of corruption, causing heavy losses to the property of the State, enterprises and citizens.
The report provided neither explanation for the shortcomings in discovering and processing cases of corruption, nor breakthrough recommendations and solutions.
Many members pointed to the inefficiency of the inspection sector in monitoring the confiscation of of corrupted property, with a low rate of returned assets at only 10%. They also called for a clearer explanation of the issue.