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LAUNCHING WORKSHOP Managing conflict of interest in the Public sector: Laws and practice in Vietnam

Ngày đăng: 11/11/2016 14:36:4

On 9th November2016, the Government Inspectorate and the World Bank in Vietnam held launching workshop: Managing conflict of interest in the Public sector: Laws and practice in Vietnam. This research received financial support from the World Bank in Vietnam and the Department for International Development (United Kingdom), was conducted by T&C Consulting Company and Asia Pacific Institute of Management (National Economics University). The research surveyed public officials, enterprises, and citizens in 10 provinces and 5 ministries on perceptions, experiences, causes and implementation of regulations on conflict of interest and managing conflict of interest (COI).

Research results show that (i) It is not yet provided a definition of COI and systematic COI management; (ii) A majority of survey participants misunderstood or did not fully understand the concept of COI; (iii) COI situations are occurring in all most industries/sectors of politic, economic and social areas; and (iv) effectiveness regulations on COI management is low, and high portion of public agencies do not carry out those COI regulations.
Represented for the research team, Dr. Nguyen Van Thang Director of Asia Pacific Institute of Management (National Economics University) presented main research results. For examples, 25% of surveyed participants understood COI correctly, but 90% surveyed participants believed COI affects the fairness and equality of decisions made weather they understand COI correctly or not. The survey figured three areas that were most COI prevalent: Procurement, Licensing and Recruitment and appointment. Studying further, the research found that most of COI situations have been commonly accepted. Dr. Thang took some examples from the focus group discussion that “Taking/receiving gifts has become a habit. If someone does not give/receive gift, he/she does not know how to behave”.


Asoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Thang, Director of Asia Pacific Institute of Management, National Economics University, presented at the workshop

A part of research team

Opinion on procurement differed among groups of participants. 71% of surveyed public officials believed procurement in their organizations was disclosure and transparency, but 38% of surveyed enterprises confirmed “using benefits as bribe” and 50% believed in “favoritism”. The similar results are also found in the recruitment and appointment when 81% to 90% of surveyed public officials said the recruitment and appointment was based on formal education, training and ability, but 44% to 70% of surveyed enterprises and citizens said that it was based on “relatives” and “benefits”. Dr. Thang took example from the focus group discussion: “My division is recruiting 10 persons, but my boss said that over 100 applicants were closed relatives of people from the Ministry”.


Ms. Tran Thi Lan Huong, a senior researcher of the World Bank in Vietnam is giving recommendations

Mr. Nguyen Sy Dung, a formal Vice Chair, Office of National Assembly  

Giving comments on the research, Mr. Nguyen Sy Dung, a formal Vice Chair, Office of National Assembly said that COI is occurring everywhere even in the national assembly members. It is necessary to have Regulations on COI and COI management. “If there is a regulation on COI, there will not be situation that ministers invited delegates for diner right before credibility voting”. Sharing opinion, Ms. Vu Kim Hanh, Chairwoman of Business Association of high quality Vietnamese Products confirmed that the COI situations are not occurring on such research areas/fields but also in policy-making process when managing agencies draft, implement, control and inspect the policies.
Based on the research findings, Ms. Tran Thi Lan Huong, a senior researcher of the World Bank in Vietnam recommended three groups of solutions: (i) Raising awareness of COI and COI management, making COI as awareness of the society; (ii) Improving policies and legislation on COI management; and (iii) strengthening capacity in managing COI situations. Ms. Huong also stated that with objective to become a prosperous and modern institution country by 2035, managing COI is important since it would relate to market institution, rules and regulations of the state. COI management would help to allocate resources more efficiently, decrease corruption and increase belief of citizen on the public governance.
Closing the launching workshop on “Managing conflict of interest in the Public sector: Laws and practice in Vietnam”, Mr. Nguyen Van Thanh, a Deputy Minister of Government Inspectorate highly appreciates the research results and related stakeholders making this research successful. The research results have been served as input for revisions of the Anti-Corruption Law and raised questions for further study. He also believed that the related stakeholders cooperate toward and transparent and efficient public governance in Vietnam. 

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