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Promoting the role of people in the prevention and control of corruption and moral - lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members

(LLCT) - The prevention and control of corruption and moral - lifestyle degeneration is not only a responsibility of Party committees and organizations, authorities and functional bodies but also one of the entire society. 

Regular press conference of the Vietnam Government Inspectorate in the third quarter of 2016 _ Photo: CVN

1. The role of people in the prevention and control of moral - lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members

According to Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, the strength of people is enormous. Realities have proved that people are the creator of history and their revolutionary movements are the driving force behind history. The realities of Vietnamese revolutions led by the Party in different historical periods show that once the Party relies on people and know how to tap their intelligence and draw their support, it can overcome anything no matter how hard it is. Ho Chi Minh once confirmed. “With public consensus, anything can be done. Without it, nothing will succeed”(1). He believed people were the ears and eyes of the Party. He said, “With people’s forces, anything will be done however big or tough it is. Without them, nothing will be completed. People know how to solve a lot of problems in a simple, quick, complete way which talented people or large associations cannot think of”(2).

The prevention and control of corruption and moral - lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members has become increasingly tough and complicated. Corruption has become common among a considerable part of government officials and Party members. “Interest groups” have formed, using sharp practice. Moral and lifestyle degeneration has been existential among each individual at different extents and in different forms and is hard to detect. Therefore, the prevention and control of corruption and moral - lifestyle degeneration is not only a responsibility of Party committees and organizations, authorities and functional bodies but also one of the entire society. To carry out this cause requires the participation of various forces, especially people.

Relying on people to manage the State’s activities and combat moral and lifestyle degeneration is an urgent requirement in order to build a transparent, strong socialist law- ruled State According to Ho Chi Minh, “The government, from central to grassroots levels, is founded by people”. Therefore, government officials, Party members, civil servants and government employees must be subject to public supervision, which can be done indirectly through people’s representative agencies such as the Fatherland Front and mass organizations or directly through people’s participation in management, examination and supervision.

Relying on people to build the Party and government and manage government officials and Party members is one of the requirements of Party building and people’s urgent demand in the current period. During the 30 years of renovation, the Party has paid special attention to strengthening itself and authorities at various levels. Although the cause of comprehensive national renovation has achieved greatly, there are quite a few problems which need to be addressed. Corruption, negative practices, and moral and lifestyle degeneration are becoming widespread. If they are not prevented timely, they are likely to undermine people’s trust in the Party, government and regime. Realities show that the success of the combat against corruption, negative practices, and moral - lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members has been largely attributed to people’s contribution. More than 70% of detected corruption cases and negative practices are informed by people and the media.

2. Building and improving mechanisms to make use of people’s role and their strength in the combat against moral and lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members

First of all, it is necessary to increase communication, create consensus and solidarity within the Party and society, and create public opinion encouraging different walks of life to participate in the combat against corruption and moral and lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members. At present, the combat has not attracted much participation from people. The reason is that some people are not fully aware of their responsibility and duty when it comes to the building of the Party and government.

Secondly, it is necessary to establish a suitable legal basis for people getting access to information about government officials and Party members. It is also necessary to perfect existing regulations and rules concerning asset and income reports, task performance and prestige to ensure the publicity and transparency of activities conducted by the Government, government officials and Party members. Also, it is important to implement the Grassroots Democracy Regulations and the “People know, people discuss, people do, people examine” motto, and consider these to be a requirement and standard of Party committees and authorities at all levels as well as government officials and Party members. Regulations concerning the examination, supervision and challenge by people, the Fatherland Front and mass organizations need to be completed according to the Politburo’s Decisions 217 and 218 on the participation of the Fatherland Front, mass organizations and people in the building of the Party and Government, and in the supervision and criticizing of them. It is necessary to formulate regulations and rules requiring Party committees and authorities at all levels to write periodical reports on negative practices, corruption and moral and lifestyle degeneration among their members and staff to people and officials and Party members in their own organizations and provinces.

Thirdly, there must be a mechanism allowing people to discover signs of corruption, negative practices, and moral and lifestyle degeneration. Because people who are engaged in the combat against corruption and negative practices are afraid of being intimidated or causing problems for themselves or their families, there must be a mechanism encouraging people to discover and report and fight corruption, negative practices, and moral - lifestyle degeneration. President Ho Chi Minh once confirmed, “They do not speak out not because they do not have an opinion, but because they think when they speak out their seniors will not listen to them and they may be intimidated. This is why people tend to speak about each other behind their back rather than in front of them or be quiet when they are within the Party but talkative when they are outside of the Party. This is also conducive to gossiping and other bad habits”(3).

For people to actively take part in the combat against corruption and moral - lifestyle degeneration, it is necessary to establish a suitable mechanism to diversify the collection of information so anyone can report to those in charge or competent bodies on negative practices, corruption and moral and lifestyle degeneration among government officials and Party members. Feedback should be provided through mail boxes and hot lines of those in charge, authorized bodies, the mass media and people reception offices.

Besides, it is imperative to ensure the confidentiality of information or evidence reporters. This is decisive to people taking the risk to report information or evidence. Information-receiving agencies must be responsible for keeping the information secret and for verifying it and responding to it. If the information is disclosed, the person who receives the information and head of the information-receiving agency must be strictly punished.

According to existing regulations, only reports with the name of the information provider are considered, and anonymous ones are ignored even if they provide concrete evidence. These are rigid, unrealistic regulations which may overlook important information pieces which can be useful for the prevention and control of corruption and negative practices. In case the information provider does not sign his or her report and does not want his or her identity to be disclosed but he or she provides concrete, clear evidence, the person or agency who receives the information must be responsible for verifying the information.

Also, there must be mechanisms for protecting the rights of corruption combatants. Party committees, authorities and competent agencies are to be responsible for developing and perfecting regulations concerning the protection of the rights and interests of such combatants. In case of intimidation or discrimination, Party committees shall be held accountable. There must be regulations stipulating that all issues related to the interests of corruption reporters and combatants must be solved by Party committees and mass organizations. There must be regulations ensuring combatants’ material interests. Costs related to the collection of evidence paid by the reporter must be refunded by competent bodies after they have verified and concluded on the provided information. There must be regulations concerning the rewarding of those who provide attested information and evidence.

Fourthly, there must be regulations and rules concerning public announcement of the results of the handling of information. Government officials or Party members who are found to have violated the law must be strictly punished. After verifying information and concluding on the case, it is necessary to publicly announce results and conclusions by inspection boards so people, government officials and Party members can know about them and in order to avoid gossips, which may affect the prestige or reputation of government officials and Party members. As for government officials and Party members who violate the law, their names and their offences must be announced publicly rather than kept part secret part public. In case of wrong or insufficient information, competent bodies must be responsible for explaining it and announcing their conclusions on the provider of such information. As for information providers whose motive is to sabotage solidarity or cause controversy or slander government officials or Party members, they must be strictly punished and their names publicly announced so that all people, government officials and civil servants can know about them. This is a good measure to overcome negative public opinion.

Finally, it is necessary to intensify examination and supervision work and design a mechanism whereby people can perform periodical examination and supervision. People’s opinion about the morality and lifestyles of government officials and Party members must be regularly collected. Government officials and Party members who have corrupted or negative practices, violate the Party Charter, or are degenerate in terms of morality and lifestyles must be strictly disciplined. It is important to enforce regulations concerning the dismissal of leadership and management personnel and their resignation; and timely replace those officials who are incapable and fail to complete their tasks or maintain their prestige. Government officials and Party members in important positions who have committed offences must not stay in those positions or be promoted. If their offences are not serious enough for them to be dismissed from their positions, they must be transferred to other work or organizations which are not related to economic activities or organizational power. There must be strong measures aimed at deterring government officials and Party members from being corrupt or intimidating their juniors who report their negative or corrupt practices.

 

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(1), (2), (3) Ho Chi Minh: Complete Works, vol.5, National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, 1995, pp.293, 295, 243.

 

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Le Kim Viet

Institute of Party Building

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

 

 

 

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