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Official Gazette

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

New regulation picks out officials to declare assets, incomes

Updated: 11:12’ - 24/07/2008

The Law Against Corruption, which was passed by the XIth National Assembly on November 29, 2005, and took effect on June 1, 2006, mentioned for the first time in Section 4 the requirement for asset and income transparency as an effective anti-corruption measure. To specify this provision, creating a firm legal ground for, and increasing the effectiveness of, the prevention and combat of corruption, the Government issued Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP on March 9, 2007, on asset and income transparency. Later, on November 13, 2007, the Government Inspectorate issued Circular No. 2442/2007/TT-TTCP, guiding the implementation of a number of articles of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP.

As stipulated in the above legal documents, asset and income transparency entails a process involving four steps: declaration of assets and incomes; verification of declared assets and incomes; making of conclusions on the truthfulness of asset and income declaration; and disclosure of written conclusions on the truthfulness of asset and income declaration. The asset and income declaration aims to provide responsible authorities with information on present assets and incomes of persons obliged to declare assets and incomes, facilitating their management and preventing these persons from committing acts of corruption.

Under Clauses 1 thru 10, Article 6 of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP, persons obliged to make asset and income declaration are determined based on their ranks and administrative posts in the state apparatus rather than their working areas and professions, which are regarded as grounds for breeding corruption. This Article generally stipulates that persons holding the post of deputy head of a section or higher posts in state agencies or enterprises are required to declare their assets and incomes.

With a view to further specifying post holders subject to asset and income declaration, on July 3, 2008, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 85/2008/QD-TTg enclosed with a list of persons obliged to make asset and income declarations under Clause 11, Article 6 of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP. This list identifies working positions and jobs prone to corruption. These working positions and jobs, through the conclusions of anti-corruption investigations, have seen the highest rate of corrupt practices attributable to a lot of opportunities to take bribes, embezzle or waste public assets, and to the fact that persons in those working positions or doing those jobs may easily take advantage of their powers or influence to change administrative decisions beneficial or harmful to other persons. This list divides persons obliged to declare their assets and income into two groups: group A consisting of persons directly performing the management of state budget and assets and group B consisting of personnel of state agencies or armed forces who work in direct contact with, and handle affairs of, agencies, organizations, units and individuals.

More specifically, group A includes persons who work in state administrative agencies of all levels, bodies of the Communist Party and other socio-political organizations, the National Assembly Office, the State President Office, People’s Council offices, the Vietnam People’s Armed Forces and the Vietnam People’s Public Security Force, as accountants; cashiers; warehouse keepers; finance managers; logistic or finance assistants; project managers and appraisers; construction work or investment plan managers, or persons in charge of procurement of materials, assets and equipment, or supply or allocation of materials, fuels and equipment.

Group B consists of persons working in 18 corruption-prone domains, including organization and personnel; finance and banking; industry and trade; construction; transport; healthcare; culture, sports and tourism; information and communication; natural resources and environment; agriculture and rural development; investment and foreign affairs; justice; labor, war invalids and social affairs; science and technology; education and training; defense; public security; and inspection and corruption prevention and combat. Working positions in these domains are often vested with official powers to grant permits, licenses or certificates; examine dossiers; allocate, evaluate and manage projects; or recruit employees.

Article 7 of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP provides the rights of asset and income declarants to have their asset and income declarations kept confidential under law, have their honor and prestige restored and be compensated for damage caused by acts of violating regulations on asset and income transparency. This Article implies that asset and income declarations will not be made available to the general public but only to responsible agencies and persons (for example, tax administration offices, inspectorates, anti-corruption bodies) for the ultimate goal of preventing tax evasion and abuse of positions and powers for illegal self-seeking purposes.

In another sense, asset and income declaration, though being regarded as an administrative obligation, gives a chance for honest public servants and employees to prove their integrity in performing their duties. Their asset and income declarations will be verified and written conclusions on their truthfulness will be made, managed and disclosed to reasonable extent. To ensure accurate verification of declared assets and incomes, there should be specific regulations on an effective mechanism and technical measures for valuating assets as well as discovering abnormal changes in assets and incomes of declarants (for example, a sign of asset dispersal). The effective and accurate verification of declared assets and incomes would help prevent the asset and income declaration from becoming formalistic and preclude acts of corruption.

Persons, sections and agencies directly managing persons obliged to make asset and income declarations should base themselves on the above list to draw up specific lists of persons liable to declaration in their respective units or agencies and manage asset and income declarations. Through examining asset and income declarations of persons under their management, they will be able to detect any abnormal change showing signs of corruption. In order to ensure the declaration is made in compliance with law and within the prescribed time limit, in November every year, heads of organization and personnel sections of state agencies, organizations or units should draw up lists of persons obliged to make asset and income declarations as guided in Articles 9 and 10 of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP, then submit them to heads of their agencies, organizations or units for approval before November 30.

According to Article 8 of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP, persons listed in Decision No. 85/2008/QD-TTg must clearly state the following kinds of asset and income:

·    Houses and other constructions under state ownership, which are currently rented or used; those under their ownership, or ownership of their spouses or minor children, for which ownership right certificates have or have not yet been granted or bear others’ names.

·    Their land use rights, land use rights of their spouses or minor children, for which land use rights certificates have or have not yet been granted or bear others’ names.

·    Their assets and bank accounts in foreign countries, and those of their spouses or minor children.

·    Income liable to personal income tax as specified by law.

·    Precious metals, gemstones, money, savings, stocks, bonds, checks, other negotiable instruments, motorcycles, automobiles, boats, ships and other assets valued at VND 50 million or more each.

If these persons have never declared their assets and incomes, they should make first-time declarations or declarations as required for their promotion to posts subject to asset and income declaration under Government Inspectorate Circular No. 2442/2007/TT-TTCP of November 13, 2007. Asset and income declarations made in December 2007 or those made in service of the election of deputies to the National Assembly or People’s Councils, election or ratification of other posts in the National Assembly or People’s Councils or rank promotion after the effective date of Decree No. 37/2007/ND-CP (April 4, 2007) are also regarded as first-time declarations. After making first-time declarations, persons obliged to make asset and income declarations should make additional declarations every year.

Persons whose are concluded as having made untruthful asset and income declarations would be disciplined in any of the following forms: reprimand, caution, salary grade lowering and rank demotion, within 5 days after written conclusions on their dishonesty are made (VLLF).-

VNL_KH1 

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