In the latest 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International, Vietnam ranked 107th amongst 180 countries and territories, higher when compared to the last two years. The improvement in ranking is the effect of Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign that started in 2017.
The CPI index ranks 180 countries and territories and countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople. The index scores include a scale of zero to 100, where zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
Vietnam ranked 107th in the CPI Index, up six places compared to 2016. The country scored 35 points out of 100 on the index. The country scored 31 during the 2012-15 period and 33 in 2016.
The slight improvement in rankings has been attributed to the government’s anti-corruption drive in Vietnam. The anti-corruption campaign has not only focused on high-level public officials but also leading business executives and bankers. In addition, they have also improved their anti-corruption legal framework, such as the Law on Anti-Corruption, to align themselves further with international norms.
Need to do more
The 2017 CPI Index has focused on three major areas the government needs to work on to improve rankings. The areas of focus include the state, business, and media and civil society organizations.
The CPI Index suggests improving the effectiveness of the National Assembly’s oversight role and ensuring independence in adjudication by the Judiciary. In addition, the government’s anti-corruption efforts should focus on areas where a citizen faces the most corruption and bribery issues, such as law enforcement, public health, and education.
The CPI Index also recommends the government to protect whistleblowers, by strengthening the legal framework, which can encourage social participation in anti-corruption.
Businesses in Vietnam need to strengthen their internal anti-corruption efforts, especially the state-owned enterprises (SOEs). They should also focus on the integrity of their firms and brands to ensure a sustainable development for better international economic integration.
Media, civil society organizations, and citizens
The civil society in Vietnam should actively participate in anti-corruption efforts by educating themselves about the anti-corruption regulations, increasing transparency, ensuring accountability, and reporting corruption cases.
Going forward, the civil society should also actively exercise their right to access information and ensure that the 2016 Law on Access to Information is implemented efficiently when it comes into effect this year.
Since last year, the government’s anti-corruption crackdown has elevated public confidence, making Vietnam one of the few countries that showed improvement. However, as the index indicates, the public sector corruption in Vietnam is still high and the government should continue to improve its anti-corruption legal framework in 2018 to achieve better rankings.
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