Laos counts the cost of corrupt government officials

ASEAN+ January 19, 2017 19:52

By Vientiane Times
Asia News Network

Numerous Lao officials at the central and local levels have been found to be 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 inspecฌtions 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 (Bt43.9 million) and Bt8.3 million.

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 cusฌtoms 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 misapฌpropriated.

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

According to the report, investiฌgations 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. 

Twentyfive officials were put forward for prosecution, some of whom had court verdicts adjudicatฌed 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 serฌvants beginning in 2014.

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

The party and government attach considerable importance to inspecฌtions as they are a significant contriฌbution to maintaining political, ecoฌnomic and sociocultural stability, while strengthening political ideoloฌgy among civil servants and party members. 

The process also helps to build the party in a transparent manner and support a strong organisational strucฌture, in a bid to prevent all forms of corruption within government and in the private sector.