Nearly half of companies in Vietnam say they give gifts to officials: report

Thanh Nien News

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At least 245 businesses admitted to giving gifts to officials in exchange for favors in the past 12 months, but apparently only 23 receivers had come clean about the gifts, local media reported, citing a survey to be released soon. 
According to news website VnEconomy, the survey conducted by the government inspectors and the World Bank found that 48 percent of businesses admitted to giving gifts to state officials in the past 12 months. 
The survey of 512 small and medium enterprises is part of a government report which will be presented to the National Assembly later this month, the news website said.
Among the gift givers, 66 percent said they gave gifts to have their problems solved, while 31 percent said they wanted to "nurture" their relationships with the officials.
The survey also found that 56 percent of the businesses who admitted to offering gifts said they had not been solicited.
Most of the gifts were claimed to be worth over VND500,000 (US$22.47) each. That means the gifts are supposed to be reported and handed over to relevant authorities or the recipients may face fines or even legal proceedings.
The survey suggested that the practice of gifting for personal favors was "quite popular."
The government's report said that 23 state officials handed over gifts worth a total of VND489 million ($22,000) they received this year, down from 32 cases last year.
In 2013, 364 people with state agencies reported about the gifts they received.
This year 46 officials were punished for letting corruption happen under their management, compared to 48 cases in previous years, according to the government's report.
Four of the officials were criminally charged while the rest were either dismissed or censured.

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