By Somxay Sengdara
March 30, 2012
Party Secretary General Choummaly Sayasone has called on Party organisations and government bodies, mass organisations and other elements of the country’s political system to strike out more firmly against corruption.
Mr Choummaly, who is also President of the Lao PDR, made the call on Wednesday in his address at the Second Nationwide Inspection Meeting which was attended by Politburo members and government officials, alongside members of central and local inspection bodies.
The meeting ran from March 26-28.
“All Party organisations and government bodies, Party members and civil servants, the Lao Front for National Construction and other mass organisations, state enterprises, and civil society bodies active in the country’s political system need to understand and observe the Law on Anti-Corruption, and other regulations which prohibit anti-social activities,” Mr Choummaly said.
Laos promulgated the Anti-Corruption Law in 2005, which sets out and defines the principles, rules and measures designed to prevent corruption and ensure that the property of the state, society and the rights and interests of citizens are not damaged, embezzled, or swindled.
Meanwhile the public have also made their voices heard regarding the auditing of Party and government officials’ assets via a hotline set up during National Assembly sessions.
The Party Secretary General also called on the government to intensively study and formulate an anti-corruption strategy in line with the promulgated laws. He also called for a system that requires civil servants to declare their income and assets accurately, along with rigorous inspection mechanisms and comprehensive policies to support, promote and protect those who help to identify corruption.
Corruption in Laos is being put under the microscope by foreign countries and international organisations. It impacts public loyalty and undermines trust in the Party’s guiding role, and weakens the effectiveness of state management and the security of the people’s democratic regime.
Mr Choummaly called on all members of the public to be vigilant and attentive to anti-corruption activities, saying corruption is a threat to the stability of government organisations, civil servants, and Party members. Meanwhile, Party committees at all levels should consider inspections as part of their everyday responsibilities when it comes to guidance and management.
“The more rigorous inspections are and the clearer the results, the more accurately we will know whether the guidance, policies, resolutions, decisions, laws and regulations of the government are succeeding,” he said.
Regarding measures for the prevention and countering of corruption, Mr Choummaly has recommended promoting awareness of legal issues and ethical standards of behaviour, so that officials understand what is required of them.
However, Mr Choumm aly warned that once officials are fully informed of the relevant issues, the law should be enforced strictly in regards to anyone found to be engaged in corrupt activities.
The success of the Party’s guidance and government’s management requires having clear and defined directions, well qualified personnel, and rigorous inspections.
“Inspection is a tool for countering autocracy, preventing the violation of the principle of centralised democracy, and maintaining order. It is a tool for the protection of civil servants and Party members, and the Party’s directions and policies,” Mr Choummaly said.