Hanoi, HCMC do a bad job of controlling corruption

By Phan Anh   April 3, 2019 | 05:03 pm PT
Hanoi, HCMC do a bad job of controlling corruption
Vietnamese travel on the Long Bien Bridge in Hanoi. Photo by AFP/File
Vietnam’s biggest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, are among the worst performers in controlling public sector corruption, a survey says.

The 2018 Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI 2018) report, which surveyed around 14,300 people across 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam, ranks Hanoi and HCMC in 55th and 59th place, respectively, in terms of controlling corruption in the public sector.

The ranking is based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. It is further broken down into four smaller categories: limits on public sector corruption, limits on corruption on service delivery, equity in employment and willingness to fight corruption, each ranked on a scale from 0.25 to 2.5.

The southern province of Ben Tre ranked highest at controlling corruption in the public sector with 7.61 points, while the northern city of Hai Phong was the worst at 5.52 points. Hanoi scored 6.08 points and and HCMC 5.95.

"The difference between the province with the highest and lowest point is quite large. It shows that each province’s effectiveness in controlling public sector corruption varies," said Dang Hoang Giang, Director of the Center for Community Support Development Studies.

In this, regional patterns have been consistent over time, he added.

The two areas where provinces need to do more to control corruption better are corruption involving public administrative services and state budgets, and corruption in state employment, the report said.

Corruption was also listed among the top three public concerns in Vietnam, besides poverty and economic growth, with men about 7 percent more likely than women to name corruption as the country’s most pressing issue.

Vietnam has engaged in a corruption crackdown in recent years, spearheaded by Party chief and national President Nguyen Phu Trong. The crackdown has seen several high-profile government officials and businessmen arrested and jailed for numerous crimes from graft cases to money laundering.

"Officials have been more cautious after the corruption crackdown," said an executive of a small government enterprise, who declined to be named, Reuters reported.

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