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Strengthening power control and fighting bribery for job titles in personnel work

III. Precluding bribery for job titles

Fighting the bribery for job titles in personnel work demonstrates our Party’s sheer political determination to build a contingent of cadres with adequate virtues, capability and credibility on a par with their missions, thereby ensuring the key position of personnel work in the Party work, building the politically, ideologically, organizationally, and morally strong Party, strengthening the people’s confidence in the Party, and giving added impetus to the cause of national construction and development.

Under that spirit, recently, our Party has taken various measures to “concentrate on remedying limitations and loopholes in personnel work so that the management of this work can be performed in a more professional, regular and efficient fashion, ensuring democracy, transparency, and objectivity, and improving power control and preventing the bribery for job titles”. Yet, this negative practice has still been done in a complicated discreet and “sensitive” manner particularly amidst the streamlining of central to local government apparatuses under Resolution of the 6th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure) on “some issues on continuously streamlining the operation of the political system” and the preparatory work to all-level party congresses in the run-up to the 13th National Party Congress. Therefore, fighting the bribery for job titles is currently an objective requirement, a fact of life, and a matter of great urgency. To this end, it is essential to take drastic synchronous measures with an emphasis on some contents as follows.

First and foremost, it is necessary to enhance awareness and a sense of responsibility, and create a strong consensus amongst a contingent of cadres and party members and the whole political system on fighting the bribery for job titles. The realities have shown that this negative practice has been commonly considered as a “transaction” of social relationships. While the Party and State and central agencies’ leaders have employed determined drastic measures to combat the “bribery”, localities’ ones have shown disinterest. On the minus side, the practice of rampant “nepotism” has increasingly triggered public outcry. As a result, it is vital to promote the work of communications and education to render cadres and party members aware of the urgency of fighting the bribery for job titles; otherwise, the Party and regime’s survival will be in jeopardy. In reality, only when there is a widespread consensus among the entire political system, are the Party’s policies executed effectively. Party organizations must make cadres and party members aware that power control and fighting the bribery for job titles is their obligation and responsibility towards the Party; a vital and long-term task in the work of Party building and rectification in close association with the struggle against corruption and political ideological moral and lifestyle degeneracy and manifestations of “self-evolution” and “self-transformation” from within, thereby preventing complaisance and upholding communists’ bravery in combatting negative practices in personnel work.

Second, strengthening power control. An insufficient mechanism for strict power control is one of the leading causes of the bribery for job titles. The power in personnel work is primarily concentrated in the hands of two subjects, namely persons in a position of authority (chiefs of party committees, offices, units and local administrations) and agencies in direct charge of personnel work. In principle, personnel work falling under the authority of party committees and organizations is discussed and decided by majority rule. Yet, it is leaders’ duties, authorities, and working style that result in power abuse and misuse, namely taking advantage of collective mechanism for personal gains; violating principles and procedures for personnel work, etc. Some infamous examples include transferring Trinh Xuan Thanh from the Ministry of Industry and Trade to Hau Giang province; Tran Vu Quynh Anh’s fast-track promotion in Thanh Hoa province; unqualified appointment of Le Phuoc Hoai Bao in Quang Nam province, etc. Therefore, those necessitate party committees and organizations taking effective measures to control power via mechanisms and the laws. Accordingly, it is essential to closely combine power control through mechanisms with power control via moral cultivation, and uphold leading cadres’ responsibility; and to attach intra-organization control with people, mass organization and the whole political system’s supervision, etc.

Third, continuing to standardize and perfect mechanisms for personnel work in a transparent manner, which is considered as an important solution to control power and fight the bribery for job titles. A uniform and synchronous system of personnel regulations will enable personnel work to be procedurally performed and prevent leading cadres’ arbitrary decisions regarding personnel work. Also, the personnel regulations will lay a foundation for cadres, party members and the masses’ inspection and supervision; adequately handle relationships between party committees and commandants and between democracy and centralism, ensuring commandants’ proper exercise of power.

The thing is signs of violating the principle of democratic centralism have been found in most incidents concluded by the Central Inspection Commission as well as disciplinary actions and recommendations from the early 12th National Party Congress. Some high-profile cases are as follows: Vietnam National Petroleum Group, Ministry of Information and Communications; the Standing Board of Air Defence and Air Force Service Party Committee; the Standing Board of the Party Committee of Logistics and Engineering Department under Ministry of Public Security; municipal and provincial party committees such as Vinh Phuc, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Binh Dinh, Gia Lai, Dong Nai, etc. As a result, in parallel with issuing and perfecting personnel regulations, it is necessary to implement the principle of democratic centralism in personnel work via concretized regulations; and to promulgate specific criteria for accurate and objective personnel assessment. Party committees and organizations at all levels must base the formulation of personnel regulations on resolutions, directions, and guidance by the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, the Secretariat, and the Central Organization Commission. In the implementation process, it is a need to promote democracy amongst cadres and party members, and clearly delegate authorities and handle relationships concerning personnel work and planning between party committees and commandants so that cadres and party members have more chances to make their voice heard about party organizations’ personnel decisions. For the sake of high efficiency in the implementation process, party committees and organizations need to brief every cadre and party member, particularly members of party committees about personnel regulations and periodically review and perfect them in line with realistic requirements.

Fourth, promoting the role of party committees and commandants in personnel work. The reality has shown that many party committees and standing boards lose their combativeness because of their complaisance and commandants’ power dominance. Any unit with pure, strong, vocal, and democratic party committees will enable personnel work to be conducted in a procedural and efficient fashion. Therefore, in order to enhance the role of party committees in personnel work, it is necessary to build strong and pure party committees with heightened dignity and capability, which is regarded as a fundamental long-term solution to control power and combat the bribery for job titles within party committees and organizations. The enhancement and cultivation of party committees’ virtues and capability must be comprehensive in order that they are capable of leading their units, and members of party committees well perform their assigned duties through tightly grasping the Party’s regulations and principles pertaining to personnel work.

The realities have also demonstrated that commandants with undemocratic authoritarianism will hinder the execution of personnel work; hence, it is necessary to uphold the responsibility of leading cadres in the personnel work. To this end, they need to actively cultivate and promote their revolutionary moral dignity and have a good grasp of their authority and responsibility; to be always imbued with the viewpoint on the personnel work as a key one to the work of Party building and the building of the political system. The building of a pool of cadres is the Party’s key work and an investment of sustainable and long-term development towards every office, unit and the country. The building of pure, strong, united party committees will allow leading cadres to properly implement personnel regulations and principles and prevent discipline violations. They have to restrain themselves from power ambitions and temptations in their line of work; strictly observe the Party discipline and submit themselves to party organizations’ management, inspection and supervision.

Fifth, strengthening inspection and supervision to preclude and stringently handle violations. According to the 7th Plenum of the Party Central Committee (12th tenure), “the work of inspection and supervision has been passive and irregular with scant attention paid to precautionary solutions”. Therefore, in order to control power and combat the bribery for job titles, party committees and organizations need to draw up and strictly carry out inspection and supervision schedules concerning personnel work. The contents of those schedules should focus on inspecting the principles of and procedures for personnel work, and putting great store by supervision and inspection of leading cadres’ authority and missions. In the process, it is essential to uphold democracy and self-criticism and criticism and ensure the strict observance of the Party’s guidelines and policies on personnel work, thereby promoting unity and improving the quality of a contingent of cadres and party members and party organizations. In addition, party committees need to formulate their regulations on promoting the role of the populace, Homeland fronts, and press agencies in inspecting and supervising and giving social feedback on personnel work whilst strictly handling organizations and individuals’ power abuse and abetment in personnel work; and opportunely annulling and revoking illegitimate decisions regarding personnel work.

Fighting the bribery for job titles is currently a long-term challenging task for the Party and the political system in their entirety, which necessitates us precluding it with perseverance and high political determination. Those aforementioned recommended solutions will enable party committees and organizations to strengthen power control and combat the bribery for job titles, contributing to building the pure and strong Party and a contingent of cadres with sufficient virtues and capability on a par with their missions (The end).

Hong Lam – Hoang Truong – Pham Tuan

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