Lao Economy

Numerous Officials Cited For Corruption By Inspection Authority

Source: Vientiane Times

Numerous officials at the central and local levels have been found to have been involved in corrupt conduct which has resulted in a huge loss of financial resources.

The activities were revealed by the State Inspection Authority (SIA) when reporting on the results of their inspections over the past year.

Some officials from the agriculture sector in Saravan province were involved in document forgery, defrauding the state of 11.3 billion kip and 8.3 million baht.

Meanwhile some officials from the province’s Department of Labour and Social Welfare embezzled more than 200 million kip.

Around 5.8 billion kip was embezzled by taxation and customs officials in Savannakhet province, while officials at the Ministry of Finance’s Taxation Department were found to have embezzled 6.9 billion kip last year.

At the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, it was found that about 20 billion kip had been misappropriated.

In his reading of a report at the annual inspection meeting which opened yesterday, SIA Vice President MrSinayMienglavanh said officials had engaged in corrupt activities such as bribery, abuse of power, sub-standard or fraudulent construction methods and document forgery, and the defrauding of state and cooperative assets.

According to the report, investigations were carried out in relation to 71 officials suspected of corrupt conduct last year, of whom nine were from the Ministry of Finance, 30 from Oudomxay province, three from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, 27 from Savannakhet province, one from Saravan province, and one from the labour and social welfare sector.

Some 25 officials were put forward for prosecution, some of whom had court verdicts adjudicated in relation to their cases.

The Party and government have been taking serious action against corruption in recent years, requiring individual property declarations by government officials and civil servants beginning in 2014.

As of today, more than 1,900 officials and civil servants at the central level, 98,000 people under ministerial supervision, and 142,000 officials and civil servants under provincial administrations have declared their assets.

The Party and government attach considerable importance to inspections as they are a significant contribution to maintaining political, economic, and socio-cultural stability, while strengthening political ideology among civil servants and Party members. The process also helps to build the Party in a transparent manner and support a strong organisational structure, in a bid to prevent all forms of corruption.

Aside from discussions on the inspection plan for next year, participants at the meeting will learn about the Resolution of the Party Central Committee on addressing autocracy and corruption, and discuss some draft documents.