Why are irrational policymakers not being held to account?
  • By Bui Hoang Tam | dtinews.vn | June 12, 2013 01:20 PM
 >>  Are National Assembly deputies too “passive”?

While policymakers of several industries in Vietnam have recently continued to issue irrational regulations, it seems none have been properly criticised, NA deputies have said.


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“Over dozens of years, I’ve seen no officials being sacked or demoted or forced to provide compensation for issuing irrational legal documents,” Le Thi Nga, Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Justice Committee said at a recent NA discussion session on the country’s socioeconomic situation.

NA Deputy Vo Thi Dung from HCM City said at another NA meeting that the situation has continuously been repeated in agencies and government bodies for years without any response. She proposed that any forms of criticism be made public.

It seems that their assessment is a common opinion among many NA deputies and the majority of people across the country.

Examples of ill-considered policies include a regulation on fining those who use mobile phones at petrol stations; a regulation to crack down on vendors and roadside food sales, a regulation on rabies prevention and control and a regulation that requires the naming of a person’s natural parents on identity cards.

Other cases were a proposal to amending the Press Law by allowing heads of investigative agencies to request press agencies to provide them with sources from their publications; a regulation to revoke resident permits of those who are imprisoned or go abroad; and a regulation that bans students from exposing cheaters during their graduation and university entrance exams.

Such regulations have caused major harm as they have created difficulties for people and fostered an attitude that the laws are sometimes worth ignoring.

“Such kind of legal documents have resulted in public upset, corroded people’s confidence, harmed the government’s prestige and lessened management efficiency. Due to their infeasibility, several regulations have been ineffective, encouraging people to laugh off their need to follow the law,” NA deputy Le Thi Nga assessed.

NA Vo Thi Dung emphasised, “Policymakers are empowered by the people, it’s unacceptable when they issue policies that are against the public’s interest and expectation and affect their lives.”

However, it is surprise to see that it seems to date not one single individual nor an organisation has faced any form of discipline.

Policymakers are paid by the public’s taxes and they work for the people. It’s obvious that they must work to best serve the people instead of issuing extemporaneous decisions without paying proper attention to the feasibility, effects on people’s lives or the government’s prestige.

In other words, such policymakers are like building workers who are hired to build a house by a landlord. If they fail to build a house or their work is substandard they must obviously pay compensation or even be jailed depending on the consequences.

Meanwhile, it seems that these policymakers are still free from being held accountable.

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