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Get everyone involved in fight against corruption, anti-graft body says

The Government Inspection Authority (GIA) has told law enforcement agencies to create conditions that enable people from all walks of life to participate in the fight against corruption.
GIA Chairman Dr Bounthong Chitmany recently issued an instruction in this regard to facilitate the implementation of the amended Law on State Inspection.
The content of some of the new articles in the amended law, which was passed by the National Assembly in 2017, was deemed to be too broad so the instruction was issued to clarify the issues and make it easier to apply the law.
Clarifying Article 4, the instruction stated that the state encourages the Lao Front for National Development, mass organisations, civil organisations, the media and every Lao citizen to participate in state inspection and anti-graft affairs.
Dr Bounthong explained in his instruction that these organisations and all Lao citizens were encouraged to monitor the work of state departments in implementing policies, laws, and regulations, as well as their duties and scope of responsibility.
The Lao Front for National Development, mass organisations, civil organisations, the media and Lao citizens were also invited to observe the actions of civil servants, soldiers, police, employees of state-owned enterprises, village heads and other officials authorised by the state to provide public services, to ensure they were not delinquent in their duties.
Dr Bounthong, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, outlined ways to enable organisations and citizens to participate in the anti-graft drive.
He suggested that state inspection authorities at all levels need to create conditions that allow the Lao Front for National Development, mass organisations, civil organisations, the media and citizens to blow the whistle on malpractice. These include allowing whistleblowers to report their discoveries on a regular basis.
State inspection authorities at all levels were told to invite representatives of these organisations to attend annual meetings of the authorities to share their experiences with regard to inspections and the anti-corruption drive.
Representatives of these organisations or ordinary citizens could also request to meet with and report their discovery of any irregularity to the inspection authorities.
In addition, the anti-corruption chief suggested that  organisations or citizens could submit reports of suspected misconduct by state officials to the inspection authorities directly or through the post office. Whistleblowers could also report any suspected misconduct or corruption through the hotlines set up by many state departments.
The instruction appears to be the first ever reference to detailed ways that members of the public can participate in the fight against misconduct and corruption.
The move comes as the government intensifies action to suppress corruption among Party cadres and state officials. Reports emerged recently that several provinces and ministries have dismissed civil servants from their positions and revoked their civil servant status following serious misconduct and corruption.
Despite the government’s greater efforts to address graft, Laos’ global ranking in terms of corruption is not impressive.
Laos scored just 29 points and maintained the same position as it did in 2017 in Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which was released on Tuesday.
This puts Laos in 132nd place among the 180 countries and territories listed in the survey.

BySouksakhone Vaenkeo
(Latest Update February 1, 2019)

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