Corruption is associated with public property and private power. In accordance with the provisions of the 2013 Constitution, it can be seen that the National Assembly had taken a leading role in controlling state power as a whole and preventing and fighting against corruption in particular. However, the legal institutions of the National Assembly have not clearly showed its power and ability to exercise the rights in a practical and effective manner. Furthermore, in accordance with the 2018 Law on Anti-corruption (taking effect on 01 July 2019), the National Assembly does not have anti-corruption functions. Article 7 under the Law regulates that the National Assembly shall supervise anti-corruption works nationwide.
According to Article 118 of the 2013 Constitution: “The SAV is an organ created by the National Assembly, shall act independently and only obey the law. It exercises the audit of the management and use of public finance and property”. Whereas, Article 9 under the 2015 Law on State Audit defined that: “The SAV shall function to evaluate, verify, conclude on and make proposals regarding the management and use of public finance and public assets”. Therefore, the SAV has important functions, responsibilities and role in controlling power, especially economic and financial power in general and anti-corruption in particular because the SAV’s activities are closely associated with the management and use of public finance and public assets.
As a result, the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on State Audit (taking effect on July 01, 2020) has given more responsibility to the SAV for the prevention of corruption. Specifically, 2a clause is added to Article 3 of this Law: “Agencies, organizations and individuals involved in state audit activitiesare agencies, organizations and individuals that identified in the course of audit at the audited entities in relation to the management and use of public finance and public assets of the audited entities and are added to the audit plan of the competent authorities”. In addition, the Law amends and supplements clause 3, Article 10 as follows: “Making considerations and deciding the audit of the cases prescribed by the Anti-corruption Law” and clause 6a, Article 10: “To perform anti-corruption tasks in accordance with the regulation of the Anti-corruption Law”; Clause 4a of Article 13 is supplemented as follows: “To issue the audit procedures to cases showing signs of corruption in order to stipulate the order, procedures for conducting audit to those has signs of corruption, verifying and clarifying the corruption cases, to public the audit reports of cases showing signs of corruption”. Specially, the Law has confirmed the role of the SAV when adding Article 64a on the relationship between the Government Inspectorateand the SAV: “When developing the annual audit plan, State Audit Office of Vietnam, within the ambit of its tasks and powers, shall responsible for chairing and coordinating with the Government Inspectorate in dealing with the overlaps”.
In summary, the SAV plays a particularly important role in the issue of power control, especially economic and financial power. Since then, the SAV is an important tool for the fight against corruption crimes based on uncontrolled power and directed towards public property. However, in fact, the role of the SAV in controlling power as a whole and anti-corruption in particular have not been specified in a sufficient and appropriate manner to conduct it effectively. Therefore, the awareness of the role and institution for the SAV to exercise control of power and anti-corruption is very important and urgent, aiming at improving the power system of Vietnam and actively contributing to the anti-corruption. The Law Amending and Supplementing a Number of Articles of the SAV has contributed to affirm and strengthen its specially important role.
DR. VU DINH ANH - Economic Expert