Vietnamese firms are contributing to the vicious circle of
administrative corruption in the country, but they also have the
capacity to break it, participants agreed at a roundtable conference in
Ho Chi Minh City on March 29.
Tran Thi Lan
Huong of the World Bank (WB) said that firms and citizens provided the
incentive to keep the circle going by choosing the quickest way to solve
difficulties created by officials – paying them.
a survey commissioned by the Government Inspectorate and the
Anti-Corruption Steering Committee, and carried out with assistance from
the WB and other institutions, about 44 percent of respondent firms
admitted to making unofficial payments.
percent said they sometimes reacted to difficulties by giving gifts or
money. More than 75 percent admitted that they had paid up without being
asked to do so.
“Corruption is becoming more
complex. Fewer corruption cases being detected does not mean that there
is less corruption but that corruption has become more sophisticated and
harder to detect,” Huong said.
Ngo Manh Hung, a
Government Inspector, said many companies have not joined the fight
against corruption because they are willing to pay up or wait for the
Government to help.
Increasing transparency is
crucial to effectively fighting corruption, said participants at the
roundtable, co-organised by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(VCCI) and the World Bank
They also said companies and firms
must become more active in fighting corruption by setting up a code of
conduct for businesses, building campaigns to say no to corruption,
organising events to improve knowledge of non-corrupt ways to resolve
difficulties, reviewing and rotating positions that carry corruption
risks, and participating in anti-corruption initiatives.
Another idea mooted at the meeting was for companies to cooperate and
set up a system to fight corruption with the support of the Government.
This system has been successful in many countries including Malaysia , some participants noted.
Speaker at the roundtable stressed the importance of fighting
corruption, which they said has negative impacts like making the country
less competitive and less attractive to investors.
survey was conducted over 18 months in 10 provinces across the country
with the participation of more than 1,000 firms and companies and 2,600