NA Urged to Intensify Fight Against Corruption, Waste

The opinion of many deputies at the current National Assembly (NA) session yesterday was that the anti-corruption program is still far from successful since a number of high profile cases have yet to go to trial. This despite the fact that the Prime Minister had asked that they be dealt with by the end of 2006.

Chief Government Inspector Tran Van Truyen speaks at the NA session.

Deputies at the session listened to reports regarding the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Law from Chief Government Inspector Tran Van Truyen and Chairman of the NA Committee for Legal Affairs Vu Duc Khien.

The Anti-Corruption Law was issued on November 29, 2005 and took effect on June 1, 2006.

Mr. Khien said that the adoption of the new laws by law enforcement officials has been slow and there still remain some shortcomings in the detection and handling of corruption cases which have become more complicated recently at many levels.

The NA also heard reports from Finance Minister Vu Van Ninh and Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly's Economic and Budget Committee Duong Thu Huong on the implementation of the Law on thrift practice and waste prevention.

The reports noted that the implementation of those laws has revealed some shortcomings, such as overspending and improper use of budgets. Some localities, for example, did not strictly follow regulations on investment and construction management.

The report went on to mention that allocation and disbursement of capital for investment projects is still done in a haphazard manner. Furthermore, the loose management of capital construction has led to wastefulness, loss of investment capital and low quality of construction projects.

The NA Standing Committee’s report also mentioned poor training and management of the labor force and wasteful use of man-hours. Thousands of people who have received training both inside and outside the country remain unemployed or wound up in unsuitable jobs.

According to the 2006 economic report, the State suffered a total loss of more than VND1.560 trillion and nearly US$5.5 billion due to violations of financial management.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung (R) and NA deputies at the NA session.

Among the corruption cases which were investigated and prosecuted by the Procuracy were the installation of fraudulent electricity meters by the HCMC power company; an abuse of power by Mac Kim Ton, Director of the Education and Training Department in Thai Binh; the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation bribery scandal; a case of fraud involving Nguyen Lam Thai and post and telecommunication units and the illegal selling of garment and textile quotas by the Ministry of Trade.

The investigation into the corruption case of Project Management Unit 18, a public property case involving Nguyen Duc Chi in Khanh Hoa province and the illegal allocation of public land in Do Son, were dealt with previously.

Prime Minister and Four Ministers to Be Questioned at NA session

The National Assembly yesterday discussed the list (to be finalized today) of cabinet members who will be questioned at the ongoing National Assembly session.

Included on the list are Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan, Minister of Construction Nguyen Hong Quan, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Mai Ai Truc and Minister of Finance Vu Van Ninh.

Of special interest to National Assembly deputies are the sustainability of the stock market and violations in the construction sector. All the cabinet members mentioned above took part in a previous question and answer sessions related to these issues.

During the current session, the Minister of Transport received the highest number of questions (five); however, as the minister is currently overseas on business, he will not participate in the upcoming Q & A session. The Prime Minister will be the last cabinet member to undergo questioning. The government leader will be asked to clarify some issues that other ministers have answered improperly or issues that cover many ministries and sectors.

The Q & A session will take place on March 30-31. Each cabinet member will have up to 120 minutes to answer questions. After the National Assembly session closes, the government will have its monthly meeting to discuss hot issues like urban order management and administrative reforms.

By staff writers – Translated by Trong Khuong

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