Party sacks corrupt Phu Yen official

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A high-ranking official in the central province of Phu Yen has been expelled from the provincial Party Unit for abuse of power that resulted in losses of VND2.8 billion (US$143,663) to the state budget.


On August 24, Nguyen Kim Phuc, 53, was also dismissed from the post of director of Phu Yen's Department of Natural Resources and Environment.


According to inspectors, while he was at the helm of a VND13 billion ($667,693) environmental protection project funded by Sweden, Phuc misappropriated its funds and violated economic and financial regulations, including renting out land assigned for the Bai Mon-Mui Dien eco-tourism area.


Tran Thi Na, Phuc's subordinate, was also expelled from the party unit for the same violations.


The Phu Yen Party Unit's standing committee has ordered related agencies to hand over the case to police for criminal investigations.


The project was part of the SEMLA program a Swedish initiative to support environmental and natural resources programs in six provinces between 2004 and 2009.


In another corruption scandal, Ho Chi Minh City authorities have criticized Nguyen Van Chau, director of the city's Department of Health, and Pham Khanh Phong Lan, his subordinate, for shortcomings in managing the granting of Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP) certificates.


GPP comprises baseline standards issued by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (IPF) in 1993. It was revised in 1997 and has been endorsed by the World Health Organization.


Vietnam's Ministry of Health in November 2007 issued a decision asking all drugstores to meet GPP standards, including having a minimum area of at least 10 square meters, by this year-end. Stores that fail to comply will have their licenses revoked.

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