Opinion
How to sack an official
  • By Bui Hoang Tam | dtinews.vn | June 11, 2016 07:45 AM

As lazy and incapable officials have been only reprimanded and ordered to undertake self-criticism, dismissing an official from their post seems to have become increasingly difficult.

It was announced on June 7 that Danang Department of Transport was asked to sack the both director and deputy director of the Danang Inland Waterways Authority following the boat accident that killed three people on the Han River on June 4.

It should be quite normal that officials are dismissed in serious cases and they should face prosecution for lack of responsibility that have severe consequences.

But dismissing officials sounds extreme because the most common punishments have been reprimands and self-criticism. It's not clear whether Danang’s authorities can carry out this disciplinary measure because sacking an official is not a small problem at all, especially in the case with Ho Chi Minh City party head Dinh La Thang.

On May 19, Thang carried out a field survey in Hoc Mon District after locals filed complaints about the pollution and the indifferent attitude of agencies. Thang proposed to sack Tran Quang Duy, head of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment in Hoc Mon District.

 

Ho Chi Minh City Dinh party head Dinh La Thang

But it has been prolonged because everything has to follow procedures. The official's mistakes or wrongdoings must be reviewed and measured, but how to measure an indifferent attitude? Government decrees about administrative penalties for officials are cited, not to mention that Duy is under management of the chairman of Hoc Mon District. What if the chairman refuses to let him go? Then there will be various procedures to go through include establishing disciplinary board and voting on the dismissal.

Maybe Thang should be clearer on what wrongdoings Duy committed and the consequences as no official in Vietnam has been sacked for having an indifferent attitude towards the public.

This can be a small issue, but a huge challenge to Thang since the media broke the news and everybody already knows the intention, but he may not be able to realise it. On May 20, Thang told Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue that, "If such a tiny issue can't be resolved then how can we make any breakthrough? We'll have deathblows not breakthroughs."

Maybe it's time to amend the decrees on administrative penalties for state officials and the processes.

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