Ministries, gov't agencies fail to disclose spending details

Wednesday, Jul 31, 2019 08:44

The ceremony introducing the MOBI 2018 Report on Tuesday, – Photo

Twenty of total 37 ministries and central government agencies receiving funding from the State budget disclosed no information about expenses in 2018, a report revealed on Tuesday.

The report was named MOBI 2018 and developed by the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI) and the BTAP Coalition, which promotes transparency, accountability and citizen participation in state budget management, with support of the non-governmental organisation Oxfam.

The ministries and central agencies studied by the report did not include the ministries of Public Security and Defence. This is Viet Nam’s first independent report on ministries, ministry-level and central agencies’ information disclosure.

The 20 ministries, ministry-level and central agencies included the ministries of Health, Education and Training, Construction, Foreign Affairs, and Agriculture and Rural Development, the State Bank of Vietnam, the Voice of Vietnam, the Hanoi National University, the HCM City National University, the People’s Supreme Court, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour.

According to the report, 12 ministries and central government agencies publicised at least one of six required documents on spending records on their websites and five made a section of spending items without details and explanation.

Topping those 17 agencies was the Vietnam Television, which scored 21.91 points. The national television broadcaster was followed by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, and the ministries of Finance and Industry and Trade.

The Ministry of Transport spent around VND58.56 trillion (US$2.52 billion) last year but its score on expense disclosure was only 3.7 points.

Ministries and agencies with lower scores than the Ministry of Transport were the ministries of Planning and Investment, Information and Communications, Science and Technology, and Justice. Those ministries scored below 3 points.

In addition, ministries and government agencies have not followed the regulations on information disclosure as stated in the Law of State Budget 2015 and the Circular 61/2017/TT-BTC by the Ministry of Finance, the report says.

All 37 ministries and government agencies are classified as D-level or “insufficient information disclosure on budget spending” as their scores are below 25 points. There are four classifications in the report, which are 0-25 points, 25-50 points, 50-75 points and 75-100 points.

The World Bank in Vietnam’s financial expert Pham Dinh Cuong said on Tuesday that ministries and government agencies’ lack of information disclosure on their budget expenses is disappointing.

The problem is the awareness of top officials at those organisations and it is not difficult for them to disclose the details on their spending, he said.

Dr. Vu Sy Cuong, representative of the group composing the report, suggested the National Assembly should tighten its supervision over ministries and government agencies’ budget spending, and consider information disclosure on budget spending a key criterion to evaluate their performances. – VNS

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