57,000 civil servants in Vietnam hold redundant positions: audit

By Thanh Thanh Lan   January 15, 2018 | 12:42 am PT
57,000 civil servants in Vietnam hold redundant positions: audit
People line up to apply for positions at a government agency in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress
Managers are raking in the cash while only a few staff are left to do the groundwork in one northern province.

Government auditors in Vietnam have urged state departments to tighten control of human resources after finding 57,175 public workers on the payroll are actually not needed.

The State Audit Office of Vietnam on Monday singled out Vinh Phuc Province in northern Vietnam as having the big personnel problems.

It said 38 of the 45 members of the province’s education department are managers, and out of the 12 people who work for the province’s home affairs department, nine hold management positions.

That means the number of staff actually doing the groundwork is much lower than those in higher paid positions.

The Vietnamese government has 2.8 million people on its payroll, according to local media.

The size of its public sector compared to the population is among the biggest in Southeast Asia, according to the World Bank.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered government offices last year to reduce staff numbers by between 1.5 and 2 percent every year over the next five years to save costs.

Vietnamese state workers are paid a basic wage of VND1.3 million ($57) a month, which is set to increase to VND1.39 million from July. The minimum monthly pay is calculated by multiplying the basic wage with a coefficient determined by qualifications and experience. 

Many in the public sector have been complaining for years that their earnings are too low. In May 2016, Vietnam raised the minimum wage in the sector by 5 percent, the first hike in three years. It received another 7.4 percent bump last year.

Economists have blamed low wages in the sector for increasing levels of corruption.

Experts have said the current wages for many officials only cover 60 percent of basic living costs at best, but most still manage to afford nice houses and cars.

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