On 30 December 2021, the Government promulgated Decree No. 134/2021/ND-CP (Decree 134) officially amending and supplementing several articles of Decree No. 59/2019/ND-CP (Decree 59) in elaborating a number of articles, and the measure for implementation, of the 2018 Law on Anti-Corruption.
Decree 134 came into force on 15 February 2022.
Below we set out the remarkable amendments and supplementations under Decree 134.
Based on an instruction document created by the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam, the Ministers, Heads of Ministerial-level Agencies and Chairpersons of Provincial People’s Committees are responsible for formulating an assessment plan for their anti-corruption activities.
The assessment shall be performed by collecting relevant information, material, documents and/or reports prepared and furnished by their direct subordinate institutions, organisations and units. The Ministers, Heads of Ministerial-level Agencies and Chairpersons of Provincial People’s Committees are in charge of sending the assessment results to the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam.
Aside from collecting such assessment results as previously stipulated under Decree 59, the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam is now authorised to review and assess the results under Decree 134. This is to codify the pilot assessment program carried out by the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam since 2016 under the consent of the Prime Minister. This central-level assessment process aims at securing the accuracy, objectiveness, and reality of the outcome of anti-corruption activities performed and reported by localities.
A decision on suspension or temporary reassignment of an official’s duties can be issued where there is ground for assuming that such official has acted in non-compliance with the laws on anti-corruption. Investigating and disciplinary actions may be hindered if they continue fulfilling their duties.
Under Decree 134, such a decision can only be revoked when the competent authority has concluded that the official did not perform an activity of corruption. This is different from Decree 59 which provided that such decisions could also be revoked when the competent authority failed to identify the corruption under investigation and the term of suspension or reassignment had expired.
Once is concluded that the official did not perform an activity of corruption, the suspended or temporarily reassigned official can resume their original office, will receive a public apology stating that the official did not perform any corruption activity and will be compensated for damages caused due to illegal issuance of the decision.
The heads of agencies, organisations and units, and their deputies, shall face punishments if they let corruption happen within the agency, organisation and unit. The punishment applicable to the heads and deputies, being officers or managers of state-owned enterprises, shall be a rebuke, warning, or even dismissal if the corruption case is considered extremely serious.
Under Decree 59, a case of corruption shall be considered extremely serious if the offenders are sentenced to five to 20 years imprisonment, life imprisonment, or death. Decree 134 has lowered the threshold for an extremely serious case of corruption from five years to over 15 years.
As a preventive measure against corruption, officials in certain positions shall be relocated periodically, especially those being involved in arrangements of public personnel; management of public funds, assets, or investments; or having direct contact with and process work of other agencies, organisations, units and/or individuals.
The application of such preventive measures has become stricter as Decree 134 added two more positions. Now those involved in granting certificates of land use rights, leasing lands, allocating lands, or the rights to possess and/or use assets attached to the land, and those in charge of controlling the animals under the list of the endangered animal also will be relocated periodically.
For more information, please contact:
Huyen Pham / Senior Associate
Phuong Hong Nguyen / Junior Associate
© 2022 ACS Legal Vietnam Company Limited – All rights reserved
This legal update is not an advice and should not be treated as such.
Download pdf: Changes in the Combat of Corruption
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