Corruption becoming more complex, harder to detect: WB

According to Tran Thi Lan Huong of the World Bank, just because fewer corruption cases are being detected does not mean that there is less corruption; it does however mean that corruption has become more sophisticated and harder to detect.

This was reported via a social survey on corruption conducted by the World Bank, the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The survey was carried out across 10 provinces and cities in Vietnam with 5,460 respondents, including about 2,600 locals, more than   1,000 businesspeople and almost 1,800 civil servants that included 90 staff from the Ministries of Transport, Construction, Industry and Trade, Finance, Natural Resources and Environment.

Hanoi, the northern provinces of Hai Phong, Son La, Hai Duong, the central city of Da Nang, the central provinces of Nghe An, Thua Thien-Hue, Ho Chi Minh City, Can Tho City, and the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap were selected because of strong socio-economic activities that can cause high levels of corruption.

Results showed that 45 percent of staff was involved in corrupt acts; around 44 percent admitted to making unofficial payments; about 59 percent said they sometimes reacted to difficulties by giving gifts or money; more than 75 percent admitted that they had paid up without being asked to do so.

Businessmen said corruption is worsening day by day and has become more complex than it was in 2005. Firms are contributing to this vicious cycle, but also have the capacity to break it.

Up to 63 percent enterprises said employees of state departments or ministries are intentionally delaying work; 22 percent of state employees are used to seeing their colleagues delay the work to ask for money; and 29 percent of residents have to give unofficial payments to push the work up.

James Anderson from WB said corruption has a negative impact like making the country less competitive and less attractive to investors. How to decrease corruption? James suggested the solution was to break the cycle at the administrative level in the country, increase transparency and publicity, continue with administrative reforms,  and eliminate contradiction in handling corrupt cases.

According to the survey, 80 percent enterprises and state employees said media discovered corruption before anti-corruption agencies and more than 85 percent said pressure from media helped effectively deal with fighting corruption.

The survey showed that people had to pay under-the-table while dealing with traffic police officers, tax officers, bank officials, customs officers, construction agencies, health service providers and others.

By Binh Dai – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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