Vietnam dismisses officials based on corruption complaints

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The Vietnam Central Fatherland Front Committee, an umbrella organization encompassing several public groups, received more than 3,000 complaints about corrupt officials, which have led to many dismissals.

A total of 3,123 complaints were sent in during the committee's four year trial survey (2006-2010) on state and Party officials in five Vietnamese cities and provinces, the committee said at a conference Thursday.

Hanoi topped the list with 1,292 complaints, while Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta reported 616 complaints, Quang Binh in central Vietnam 484, Ninh Binh in the north 449, and Ho Chi Minh City 282.

They complained officials committed wrongdoings in their role overseeing land and construction management, and instituting environmental and social policies. Officials were also accused of bribery.

The complaints pointed fingers at officials for not leading "ethical" lives and for having poor "attitudes" when working with local residents.

The committee said the local authorities have acted on most of the complaints.

It said that by the end of May 2010, the Hanoi government had solved 1,023 cases, dismissing the director of state-owned Infrastructure Development and Construction Corporation (Licogi) and a commune police officer.

Quang Binh authorities have rebuked five Party members, removed one member from the Party, dismissed a school principal and recalled nearly VND20 million (US$1,000) of state money spent in wrong purposes.

Tien Giang Province dismissed four officials and transferred one to investigators for further punishment.

HCMC has dismissed eight officials for demanding and accepting bribes.

However, the committee qualified their findings as incomplete, saying several commune agencies did not forward their complaints out of fear that implicated officials would seek revenge for their compliance with the survey.

"The survey in several places did not truly reflect reality," a representative said at the conference.

The people were obviously scared as well. Many complaints were unsigned and lacked return addresses.

"They are afraid as Vietnam is yet to have a clear protection system (for whistleblowers)," the representative said.

The committee suggested the survey be carried out nationwide, along with better protection measures and rewards for those who report violations.

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