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Keeping the power under the control of mechanism (III)

III. Building an effective mechanism for controlling the power

It is vital to control the power using a mechanism. The mechanism here is the Party’s discipline and the State’s legal system. That is how the national legal system functions. Within the Party, it must be the Party’s Platform, guidelines and charter that rule over party members. It must be the legal system that governs the society. The people’s hearts and minds and their faith in public servants must be the centrepiece of that mechanism.

Under the Party’s leadership, over the years, the entire political system has taken part in the fight against corruption and wastefulness so as to keep the power under the control of mechanism and law and ensure that the State power would really belong to the people. However, there have been some weaknesses in the fight against corruption and abuse of power in our country. Against that backdrop, we need to build a mechanism effective enough for controlling the power together with comprehensive, synchronous, and focalised guidelines and measures to ensure that the state power will be exercised under the Constitution and law. To that end, it is necessary to focus on several central solutions as follows.

First, grounded on the unification of the state power, it is important to more clearly identify mechanisms for coordination between state agencies in exercising the state power and especially specify the function, task, authority and responsibility of the legislative, executive and judiciary bodies to ensure the decentralisation and devolution amongst the legislative, executive and judiciary offices within our rule-of-law State. It is essential to more clearly establish a mechanism for coordination in controlling powers within all-level governments and delimit the authority and responsibility between central and local offices as well as between local offices themselves.

When mentioning the rule-of-law State, we must take the constraint of power between its three branches into consideration. Without a restriction, the power will not be controlled and it will absolutely corrupt. Hence, due attention should be paid to developing methods of controlling the power between state bodies and tying them to one another in a coherent whole in order to prevent and eliminate the abuse of power and ensure that organs of state power or competent authorities will cooperate with and control one another and no office will be able to abuse the power. The abuse of power and corruption in many countries, including Vietnam have involved in mainly executive officials; however, in our country (in some period), heads of administrations were responsible for anti-corruption offices at their levels. To deal with this issue, we must step up the building of a Government of integrity, action and development and set up a mechanism for dialogues between heads of state offices and citizens so that we will “listen to the people’s opinions, opportunely correct policies and adjust the method of management and operation.” We must not allow anyone or politico-social organisation or force to stand above or outside the Constitution and law.

Second, continue to build, amend, supplement, complete and well implement mechanisms for management, policies and laws in general and those on corruption and wastefulness prevention and combat in particular, especially the personnel work, land, economic, and financial management, and inspection under the motto of “not letting corruption occur, not daring to commit corruption, not desiring corruption. In order that officials “will not desire corruption,” we must carry out a salary reform. To prevent officials from “daring to commit corruption,” we must increase penalties. To stop corruption from occurring, we must close loopholes within the legal system while all cadres and officials must declare their properties and income. Policies on cadres and officials’ salary must be ensured to effectively prevent and combat corruption. It is vital to adopt measures synchronously for completely overcoming shortcomings of the Corruption Prevention and Combat Law and other relevant ones. Without any change, definitely there will be an increase in abuse of power and corruption. In the upcoming time, we should amend, supplement and perfect the Law on Practising Thrift and Combating Wastefulness, the Law on Complaints and the Law on Denunciations, while enhancing the public administrative reform, streamlining the governmental structure, and publicising all activities of offices and units. Consideration should be given to completing the organisational structure of central and local anti-corruption offices and improving their efficiency. Authorities, sectors, offices and units must develop and effectively implement programmes and plans for preventing and combating corruption and wastefulness within themselves. In the process, it is necessary to ensure openness and transparency within authorities, closely supervise and control properties and income of organisations and individuals.  Importance should be attached to detecting, investigating, prosecuting and strictly trying corruption-related cases under the spirit of no “restricted zone”. At the same time, we should implement a salary reform, accelerate the adoption of contractual budget, and build a mechanism for both internal and external supervision so that cadres and officials will be unable to commit corruption or will not desire corruption.

Third, exercise democracy at grass-roots level and promote the role of people-elected agencies, the Fatherland Front, politico-social organisations, and media offices in supervising the power. Our Party and State should continue amending and perfecting the system of mechanisms, laws and policies to enable the Fatherland Front and the mass unions to take part in social criticism of supervision of the power. Besides, we should promote the role of press and media agencies and the regulations on democracy at grass-roots level to ensure that the people will know, the people will discuss, the people will do, the people will inspect and the people will enjoy. Significance should be attached to encouraging the people to effectively use their power, correctly elect their representatives, exercise supervision and social criticism, and express their opinions under law. The State should control the signs of excessive democracy and freedom to prevent negative crowd psychology. Exercising their right, the people will control the State via elections and use tools, such as supervision, social criticism by the Fatherland Front and politico-social organisations, complaint, denunciation, inspection and audit to control the state power. Moreover, we should take advantage of mass media to enhance internal and external information services related to the achievements in the crusade against corruption. Doing so will enable us to consolidate determination, promote the combined strength of forces, formulate and take effective measures for preventing and combating the abuse of power, group interests, and interest groups as well as fighting against the hostile forces’ distortions of our issue.

Fourth, build a contingent of cadres of integrity who are really servants of the people. This is the most important measure as President Ho Chi Minh ever said that “cadres are the root of everything, failure or success depends on their ability.” Thus, it is essential to closely manage cadres and party members, particularly leaders, managerial cadres and heads of offices and units to prevent the abuse of power, corruption and “group interests.” First of all, each cadre and party member must control their power by their own. They must be fully aware that their power is assigned and granted by the people for the general purpose and it is not their own. Therefore, they must work according to their functions and assigned tasks and they must not abuse or take advantage of the power for their personal interests. Moreover, they must actively train themselves to be both “red and expert” cadres, outdo themselves and overcome temptations of power and money. More importantly, party committees and party cells at all levels must promote democracy and heighten the spirit of criticism and self-criticism against all signs of abuse of power amongst their cadres and party members as party cells are directly in charge of managing, educating and screening members of the Party.

In fact, cadres with corruption are “flocks of vermin” in most of the areas, “eating everything they see.” In some fields, they manipulate policies and even the personnel work, while letting their spouse, offspring and relatives involve in, interfere and steer their power. It is a scary and extremely dangerous thing to our Party that many of the corrupted cadres who had long violated law have been promoted to higher positions and they would possibly appoint their “disciples” to their own position later on. And there has not been an ending for the story about “a herd of officials from the same house” yet, although there have been a large number of lessons about this before their eyes. Thus, only by changing the mechanism for recruiting and appointing cadres could we put an end to this problem and develop talented people. There should be specific action programmes for the elected positions while appointments must undergo close examination. A set of criteria must be laid down so that we could dismiss incapable cadres or those who are not eligible enough from the state apparatus.

Due attention should be paid to continuing to renew and build a compact, effective state apparatus, selecting and appointing cadres and party members who are virtuous and talented and devote themselves to the Party and the people. Discipline must be tightened; however, we should create a favourable condition to stimulate renewal and creativity for development, while defending cadres who dare to think, dare to do and dare to make a breakthrough for the public interests. Additionally, it is important to closely control the exercise of power and opportunely, strictly handle organisations and individuals with the abuse of power or violations of the Party’s discipline and the State’s law. We should resolutely expel cadres who nurture ambition for power, follow opportunism, and commit corruption and degradation in political ideology, ethics and lifestyle, as well as show the signs of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation.” In the process, great value should be attached to performing the work of Party building and rectification, building a socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people, for the people, stepping up the study and following of Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, ethics and lifestyle, practising thrift, fighting against corruption, wastefulness and bureaucracy within the Party, and improving the image of a ruling Party. Besides, there should be mechanisms for encouraging and protecting those who are active in the fight against corruption and negative practices, while typical examples of diligence, thrift, integrity, honesty, public-spiritedness and selflessness should be praised and multiplied.

Fifth, inspection, investigation and corruption prevention and control should be enhanced in several key areas, such as land management, capital construction, state-owned enterprises’ financial management, state revenue and expenditure, public property management, and personnel planning, recruitment and appointment. Great weight should be added to preventing and combating corruption, “group interests” and “interest groups” within offices in charge of inspection and investigation. At the same time, we must actively detect and remove the signs of forming “interest groups” and links between those who submit to inspection and investigation and cadres within competent offices in charge of this work so as to deal with these people’s plots to cover themselves and escape punishment.

Over the time, we have taken disciplinary action against and even prosecuted a large number of officials, including former members of the Politburo and former Ministers. It should be noted that many of them have been tried for violations committed in their previous positions. It proves that although our personnel work has been carried out closely, some bad cadres have continued to be promoted. This is an issue of the Party’s inspection and supervision which should be settled. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement and complete the Party’s regulations and the State’s law to closely control the power and stringently punish organisations and individuals with the abuse of power and “group interests.” Heads of offices and units where corruption and “group interests” take place must take joint responsibility. There should be laws on confiscating properties relating to corruption and strictly punishing those who cover up corruption or those who take advantage of denunciation of corruption to slander others.

General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong has said for many times that: “we must keep the power under the control of mechanism, establish a mechanism for controlling the exercise of power so that all powers must be closely managed; powers must be aligned with responsibility and we could prevent violations and mistakes in the most fundamental and effective manner by means of the Party’s regulations and the State’s law.” In spite of certain difficulties and shortcomings, we are proud of the obtained achievements in the fight against the abuse of power and corruption and we believe that, with the entire political system’s resolve, under the Party’s leadership, our country will successfully guarantee the people all state powers. (The end)

DINH PHIEM - MINH SON

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To thoroughly carry out the preparatory work for, and successfully conduct the 13th Party Congress, leading the country to a new phase of development
The entire Party, people and armed forces shall unify in hearts and minds, join forces to carry out thoroughly the preparatory work for, and successfully conduct the 13th National Congress of the Party, leading the country to a new phase of development with the goal of “prosperous people, powerful, democratic, just and civilised country”, successfully fulfilling the heartfelt wish of great President Ho Chi Minh and the desire of the entire nation.
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