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Sunday, April 7, 2013

79% of state offcials have other sources of income

Pham Trong Dat, director general of Anti-Corruption Bureau and head of the research group managing a project to monitor state officials' incomes, announced the results of a report, which contained suggested anti-corruption measures.
State official on the job in Hanoi
In 2012, the government inspectorate collaborated with the World Bank to conduct a survey of nearly 2,000 state officials in 10 localities. 79% of officials asked said they have alternate sources of income, while 20% did not and 1% refused to answer.
Meanwhile, 60% said they saved up the daily business expenses, 50% said some of their money came from attending meetings, 5% gained money from commission or private work fund and 5% admitted to receiving gifts.
The incomes from other sources differed, with 82.7% saying that outside income is less than 50% of their salaries, 2.5% said their other income was greater than their wages. Of everyone asked, 0.2% admitted that outside income was at least 10 times their salaries. 
"Though the results do not reflect the situation of all the officials in Vietnam, it does show that the rate of officials who have outside income is high. Moreover, there are some sensitive issues here that can easily lead to corruption," the report said.
According to the research group, monitoring mechanisms currently in place showed a number of shortcomings, and punishments for corruption are not strict enough to serve as an effective deterrent. 
They proposed ten measures to better monitor the activities of officials, including opening special accounts for state officials and requiring them to report any job-related income that they earn that comes into separate accounts. 
In addition, they suggested that the government complete regulations on making state officials' assets more transparent and add regulations on the use of large expenses.
Individual responsibilities must also be cleared when dealing with state officials and their relatives' assets, according to the report. Also, they said that the role of tax authorities should be strengthened to give them more power to monitor and manage personal income taxes.
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