The State Audit Office of Vietnam (SAV) will scrutinize 16 ministries and central agencies; 40 provincial-level governments; and a number of financial institutions, banks and State-owned firms next year.
The façade of the State Audit of Vietnam in Hanoi. The regulator has reduced the number of inspections for 2020 to enhance their quality – PHOTO: INFONET
In a decision recently signed by SAV Auditor General Ho Duc Phoc, the number of audit checks in 2020 will be lowered by some 20% compared with this year. The move is primarily intended to enhance the quality of audit activities.
The SAV noted that the agency will innovate its audit method based on risk assessment and audit materiality, speed up administrative reform and adopt information technology in its audit activities, as well as strengthen discipline in the performance of public duties.
A number of ministries and central agencies with large State budget allocations will be on the radar. The SAV will verify the accuracy of reports on the final settlement of budgets for 2019.
The verification is aimed at facilitating the approval of 2019 budget settlement reports, made by the National Assembly and the people’s councils of central provinces and cities.
In the corporate and finance and banking sectors, the focus will be on State-owned groups and corporations. The regulator will review their financial management, equitization and public divestment.
Some corporations facing scrutiny include HCMC Power Corporation, PetroVietnam Power Corporation, PetroVietnam Oil Corporation, PetroVietnam Technical Services Corporation, PetroVietnam Transportation Corporation, Central Power Corporation and VNPT Net Corporation.
Hanoi Construction Corporation, Hanoi Housing Development and Investment Corporation, Urban Infrastructure Development Investment Corporation, Saigon Real Estate Corporation, Saigon Water Corporation, Saigon Transportation Mechanical Corporation, Southern Vietnam Maritime Safety Corporation and Bao Minh Insurance Corporation are also on the list.
The SAV will audit financial reports and activities involving the management and use of public capital and assets for 2018 undertaken by the State Bank of Vietnam and other large banks to assess their financial situations and the management and governance applied through their monetary policies.
The banks under review are the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam and Vietnam Bank for Social Policies.
The SAV will organize nine independent audit operations to examine issues involving environmental protection, waste treatment, adaptation to climate change and credit provision for poor people, as well as social housing projects.
For example, environmental protection in the Nghi Son Economic Zone in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa, household waste treatment in the southern province of Binh Duong between 2017 and 2019 and a flood reduction program for the 2016-2020 period in HCMC have so far attracted significant public attention.
Projects in Thu Thiem New Urban Area on radar
A view of Thu Thiem Peninsula in District 2, HCMC with the current central business district in the background – PHOTO: VNA
The SAV will conduct 40 inspections of construction projects, including build-operate (BT) transport infrastructure projects within the premises of the Thu Thiem New Urban Area in District 2.
The Government Inspectorate stated in its inspection findings in June this year that the investors in these BT projects had earned large profits owing to the wide gap between the land price approved by the HCMC government and the market price.
The municipal government picked Dai Quang Minh Real Estate Investment JSC as the sole investor for a project to build four major roads in the urban area without asking the firm to provide evidence of its experience and financial capacity, which went against regulations on investor selection.
The city approved an investment of some VND12.2 trillion for the four roads without consulting with the relevant departments and agencies. Moreover, investments for some items were not made in line with the law, causing losses of more than VND1.5 trillion for the State budget.
In the land clearance process, the city amassed 221.68 hectares of cleared land in Thu Thiem but later used it as a means of payment for investors involved in BT projects to build infrastructure for the new urban area.
This land should have been put up for auction under prevailing regulations. Using the land as a direct means of payment for BT road builders constituted an infringement of the rules on land bidding, use and management. SGT