Governance and public service reforms remain slow, as corruption continues unabated and citizens lack opportunities to participate in the policy-making process, according to an annual survey entitled Vietnam Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and its partners on April 14.
The survey measured six dimensions: participation at local levels, transparency, accountability, corruption control, public administrative procedures, and quality of public services.
Accordingly, respondents saw little improvement in corruption at the provincial level, with nearly half saying bribes were required to get public sector jobs.
To receive better hospital services, 12 percent of respondents said they had to pay bribes. Almost one-third of respondents with children in primary school also had to pay bribes. Nearly one in four respondents said they had to pay extra to get a land use rights certificate.
According to the researchers, these numbers have increased since 2012, indicating that corruption and bribery are on the rise.
“The pace of change is very slow in all six dimensions,” said Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, UNDP Policy Advisor for Vietnam, adding “For further improvements, we want to think more creatively about what types of reform need to be addressed to increase the pace of change.”
The survey also found that while citizens believed their local officials were gradually becoming more serious about controlling corruption (from 34 percent in 2011 to 38.7 percent in 2014), one in four said no serious efforts were being made and nearly two-thirds didn’t know about any efforts.
Notably, citizens still saw a lack of transparency at the local level when it came to listing impoverished households, publicizing the use of commune budgets, and local land-use planning and pricing.-