65 phone calls made to denounce corruption during Tet

VietNamNet Bridge – The Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Government Inspectorate received 65 phone calls denouncing signs of corruption in the Lunar New Year 2015 (February 14-23), reported online news site VNexpress.

According to the Anti-Corruption Bureau’s report, none of the cases involved officials receiving Tet gifts was recorded.

However, a month before and after Tet, the agency had 65 calls from citizens reporting signs of corruption of some officials receiving Tet gifts. Of the denunciations, 20 were related to officials in the fields of industry and trade, 17 in the area of natural resources and minerals and 15 for the transport sector.

The bureau chief, Pham Trong Dat,  said this was the first Tet that the bureau had made public its hotline for corruption denouncement.

Concerning the processing of anti-corruption information, Dat said: "Of the 65 calls, we directly answered and gave instruction to 32 sources of information. The remaining sources of information need verification and they are archived to report to the higher authorities for further investigation."

The official said that though the Government Inspectorate had sent a dispatch urging the ministries and ministerial-level agencies to submit reports on the implementation of the state regulations on presenting, receiving and handling in gifts. But by February 27, the bureau received reports of 52 agencies.

Dat said that it was very difficult to process information on gift giving and receiving because this mainly depends on the self-discipline and honesty of the recipient.

To address this, the Anti-corruption Bureau has recommended to the Government to assess and modify regulations to suit the actual situation and to implement measures prescribed by law to examine and clarify the sources of information on giving and receiving gifts and other illegal signs of corruption.

Earlier, a report from the Government Inspectorate said that giving gifts as a form of bribes was still widespread but very few people returned the gifts. In 2014, only 32 officials handed in gifts, totaling VND791 million ($38,000).

Tran Cham

65 phone calls made to denounce corruption during Tet, officials receiving Tet gifts