Soc Trang officials to retrieve money overspent on security cameras

By Hoang Hanh   September 30, 2019 | 08:57 pm PT
Soc Trang officials to retrieve money overspent on security cameras
A security camera is installed at a house of a Communist Party official in Soc Trang Province in southern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Bao An.
Communist Party officials in the southern Soc Trang Province have admitted their error in spending public money on security cameras in their homes and pledged to retrieve it.

"The Standing Committee of the provincial party unit held a meeting to review responsibilities of the entire committee and related individuals in letting this mistake happen. We will report this incident in full and seek guidance from the central government," a press release said Monday.

While the installation of security cameras in general was not a problem, the scale and the source of money used were a mistake, the release said.

It noted that the brief to enhance security in the neighborhood of party leaders’ residences was exceeded in terms of scale, the number of cameras and budget expended.

Therefore, the provincial party unit would retrieve the money spent on installing security cameras in the homes of 12 members of its party's Steering Committee, which is estimated at over VND880 million ($38,000), the release said.

Last April, Soc Trang's Party Deputy Secretary Huynh Van Sum signed a decision allocating nearly VND982 million ($42,000) from the party's budget reserves for installing security cameras in the homes of members of the party unit's Steering Committee.

This decision was reportedly made following proposals from Soc Trang police as part of a program to provide general protection for the offices of party and state agencies.

The homes of the party unit's leaders were also included as they are those that are likely to face problems coming from antisocial elements.

However, the decision to install cameras in officials' homes using the party's budget was met with strong public criticism. Party units’ spending is covered in the provincial budget.

According to Chung Thanh Tam, head of Soc Trang's finance department, the province earned revenues of over VND3.8 trillion ($164 million) and spent about VND9.8 trillion ($422 million) last year, so the central government had to support the provincial government with nearly VND6 trillion ($259 million).

While the first nine months of this year saw Soc Trang's budget revenue meet the planned target, Tam said the province would still need similar support from the central government.

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