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Ministry Issues New Guidance To Tackle Corruption, Bureaucratic Malpractices

Source: Vientiane Times

Authorities have issued a new guidance to prevent officials in-charge of natural resources and environment affairs from committing corruption and bureaucratic malpractices.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mrs Bounkham Vorachit, recently signed a three-page ministerial decision to impose 16 prohibitions on the officials.

The key prohibitions bar officials from taking any unjust and biased steps or delaying the consideration of documents related to land, environment, water resources, meteorology and hydrology.

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Officials are prohibited from abusing their powers or referring matters to an influential figure for personal gains or the gain of their relatives or their close ones. This includes gains through bribes, embezzlement, and requests for gains from project developers, business operators, individuals, land-owners and relevant organisations.

Any misconduct that causes losses for the state, people and investors is strictly prohibited.

The strong rules prohibit officials from facilitating or conspiring with individuals, entities, organisations, investors or business operators in order to embezzle funds or any misconduct that violates the nation’s laws.

Officials will also not be allowed to unreasonably use state assets for personal gains or the gain of their relatives and close ones.
They are also banned from embezzling land use rights or assets of the state, individuals, legal entities and organisations.

The rules prohibit state officials from conspiring with other parties for buying land use rights for, and selling land use rights to foreign nationals, including foreign nationals of Lao origin.

The officials are not permitted to issue any certificates or licenses related to the environment, water, water resources, and meteorology and hydrology that violates relevant laws and regulations. They are also prohibited from acting as a broker or consultant on land, environment, water, water resources, and meteorology and hydrology for an individual, legal entity or an organisation.

The rules ban officials from producing fake documents or procurement price rates as well as technical standards for personal gains. They are also not allowed to damage any evidence.

The decision is aimed at preventing corruption, bureaucratic malpractices and misconduct. Those violating the decision will be disciplined in line with the relevant laws and regulations.

The decision is part of the government’s efforts to suppress corruption within the state administration.