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Comments from the UNDP Country Director, Ms. Louise Chamberlain at the launching workshop of the Anti-Corruption Diagnostic Report

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Speaker: UNDP Country Director, Ms. Louise Chamberlain
Date:        20 November 2012
Event:      Launching workshop of the Anti-Corruption Diagnostic Report

Mr. Trần Đức Lượng, Deputy Inspector General, Government Inspectorate
Mr. Lê Văn Lân, Deputy Chair of OSCAC
Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, World Bank Country Director
Ms. Fiona Lappin, Head of DFID in Viet Nam
Distinguished Officials, Development Partners, and Colleagues;

  • From the UN’s side we wish to also acknowledge and commend the Government Inspectorate, Office of the Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption, World Bank, National Advisory Board members for this unique Study and the Launch of its results here today. The study adds considerable facts and information and body of knowledge on the extent and challenge of corruption in Viet Nam today.
  • We appreciate very much the collective-action approach under which the report was prepared under the leadership of the GI and OSCAC and supported by a multi-agency Advisory Board,
  • and with the collaboration of international development partners.
  • From UNDP’s side we are pleased to have contributed to the exercise by providing expertise, methodological support, and substantive analysis.
  • This AC Diagnostics Report is a welcome report with up-to-date information on the state of corruption according to the perspectives of citizens, firms and public officials. The report updates the milestone Report produced in 2005 by the Party’s Central Committee for Internal Affairs.
  • The findings of the Report point to important achievements made in the fight against corruption. For instance, the Report demonstrates that provinces and government agencies that undertake administrative reforms actually do have lower levels of corruption, suggesting that investment in reforms does pay off.
  • The report is also a clear call for action to further deepen the system of enforcement to support compliance with rules and regulations in the public sector.
  • The Report confirms how corruption affects the poor the hardest and how self-sustaining and deeply ingrained the phenomenon is in certain sectors.
  • When bribes are common practice and part of the daily interactions between citizens or firms and authorities, the social fabric of trust, and confidence in the public sector, are eroded.
  • The Report asks “What Can be Done to Reduce Corruption in Viet Nam?” and suggests a number of responses including greater transparency, enhanced mechanisms of assets declarations, administrative reforms, institutional re-engineering and others. All these are important in a context where corruption is endemic.
  • Many such reforms to deal with corruption have been put in practice. Examples of this were recorded in Viet Nam’s self-assessment review of implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) with regards to criminalization and law enforcement.
  • However, the October Party Plenum and discussions at the National Assembly this year have highlighted clearly that new approaches in the fight against corruption need to be explored and that the current level of effort is not enough.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, we encourage key country institutions to consider ways to further enhance the enforcement and implementation of reforms. This Report, with its updated data and evidence, points to the importance of political will to implement these reforms and the need to address public service incentives systems.
  • One area is through improvement of incentive systems in the public service to reduce the gain of corrupt behavior. Another is to ensure that the enforcement and implementation of already existing laws are given priority.
  • The independence of investigation prosecution authorities and mechanisms to ensure that rules are applied consistently, are critical to achieve results.
  • The capacity of designated institutions needs to be strengthened, and accountability to ensure appropriate sanctions through the judicial system should be reinforced. Trust in these institutions should be reinforced and rebuilt.
  • Ladies and Gentlemen, the report comes at an opportune moment. The National Assembly has recently debated an amended version of the Anti-Corruption Law, but is also calling for further and more extensive revisions. The UN appreciates the challenge and central importance of this task, and we are ready to support a reinforced anti-corruption response in Viet Nam.

Thank you very much, Ladies and Gentlemen.