Mekong Delta's Soc Trang leads in corruption control

By Minh Nga   April 3, 2024 | 02:32 am PT
Mekong Delta's Soc Trang leads in corruption control
Farmers in Soc Trang Province harvest rice in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyet Nhi
Moving up five ranks compared to 2022, Soc Trang Province has emerged as the leader among Vietnam's 63 localities in the corruption control index in the public sector.

The 2023 Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) released on Monday showed the southern province leads in "control of corruption in the public sector" with a score of 8.14 out of 10.

This position was held by the southern Binh Duong Province for two years in a row in 2021 and 2022.

Also in the top 10 are Bac Lieu, Thua Thien Hue, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Hoa Binh, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Thai Nguyen and Ha Giang provinces. Due to a lack of data, Binh Duong and Quang Ninh, home to Ha Long Bay, are not ranked this year.

The bottom three provinces are Quang Ngai, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc, with scores of 5.85; 5.95 and 6.01, respectively.

All five centrally administered cities scored below 7, with Hai Phong scoring the lowest at 6.32, Can Tho at 6.4, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City both at 6.6, and Hanoi at 6.7.

PAPI is a flagship governance program initiated by the United Nations Development Programs in Vietnam since 2009. For the 2023 index, 19,536 respondents in 63 cities and provinces were surveyed.

The index provides data and evidence that reflect eight dimensions of government performance: participation at local levels, transparency in local decision making, vertical accountability towards citizens, control of corruption in the public sector, public administrative procedures, public service delivery, environmental governance and e-governance.

It measures and benchmarks citizens' experiences and perception on the performance and quality of policy implementation and services delivery of all 63 cities and provinces in Vietnam to advocate for effective and responsive governance.

Iin terms of areas of improvement, fewer respondents said that connections were required for appointments to civil service positions, such as land registrar officers, justice officers or people's committee staff since 2016.

Still, in 2023, more respondents (36.7%) perceived that informal payments were needed to secure a job in state employment than in 2021.

Bribery for land use rights certificates remained a common practice, as the proportions of applicants for the certificates who paid a bribe ranged from 19 to 81% in 61 provinces.

Informal payments for better care at district public hospitals remains a problem in many provinces.

The proportions of users of district public hospitals who paid a bribe in 2023 ranged from 40 to 80% in 40 provinces in 2023.

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