Vietnam's anti-corruption drive needs more efforts
  • By P. Thao | | November 03, 2012 09:16 AM

Vice Chair of the National Assembly's Legislation Committee, Le Thi Nga, was interviewed about the inspection problems that are hindering anti-corruption activities.

Many deputies said publicising information about officials is a must in the fight against corruption, what's your opinion on this problem?

The Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) case could be made an example. The inspectors discovered wrongdoings but did not inform the Ministry of Transport. That's why Duong Chi Dung, who was under scrutiny, was transferred during the inspection.

The inspectors could announce the results on the agencies' websites, to the media or at press conferences. But in reality, many have chosen to announce the results where they attract least attention. Even NA Deputies have difficulties in accessing the results.

International experts have agreed that corruption equals monopoly minus accountability plus discretion. Limiting public access to information also limits the fight against corruption.

Some people said that making public the assets and incomes of officials is an invasion of privacy. Would such an approach be appropriate?

The problem is what should be publicised. This regulation has been in effect for 10 years and we should tighten the rules. The relatives of officials will be under more scrutiny than usual.

Can you talk more about why so many people were granted suspended sentences?

The loopholes for criminals in corruption case have specific features.

Our laws are lenient for criminals who commit offenses for the first time, were previously awarded medals or were recognised for their achievements, and most people with power fulfil all of these conditions.

That's why the courts aren’t wrong in giving suspended sentences. What we have to do is reconsider the laws on related to corruption cases.

Asides from disagreement with suspended sentences, I heard that you also raised voices against the types of crimes focused on during the struggle against corruption?

If we prosecute both the person who receives the bribes and person who give bribes then we block the anti-corruption fight ourselves. The person who offers the brides will have to denounce themselves if they report the bribes.

So we should scrap the offering of bribes as a crime?

We should exempt criminal liability from those people. This will put the officials under greater responsibility. People will only have to offer bribes when the officials demand them.


Vice Chair of the National Assembly's Legislation Committee, Le Thi Nga

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