Enhancing the integrity, objectivity and competition of public procurement in Viet Nam

Khanh Hoa (Viet Nam), 14 September 2022 - Accounting for 15 – 20% of GDP in developing countries and about a third of national government budgets, public procurement represents a significant share of activity and a major source of wealth for each country. In Viet Nam, as elsewhere, preventing and combating corruption in public procurement is central to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public services, and hence to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Viet Nam has developed a comprehensive legal framework on public procurement through various areas. However, corruption and fraud remain as significant issues, particularly in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. More capacity-building is therefore needed to enhance the integrity, objectivity and competition of public procurement in Viet Nam.

To address this, UNODC has been working with the Government Inspectorate (GI), Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (MARD), Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and Supreme People’s Court (SPC) and through high-level advocacy and trainings for inspectors and criminal justice officers. In July of 2020, UNODC and MARD co-launched a Guide on Inspecting for Procurement Corruption and Fraud in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, adopted by the Ministry as the official training manual to be used in all of Viet Nam’s 63 provinces.

As part of these efforts, UNODC has held two back-to-back training workshops on addressing corruption risks in public procurement, from 7 – 9 September 2022 in Ha Noi and 12 – 14 September 2022 in Nha Trang city, Viet Nam.

Each event introduced participants to the main standards and principles to be followed in public procurement to ensure accountability and transparency, including the requirements to prevent corruption in public procurement under the UN Convention against Corruption; familiarized the participants with the UNODC methodology to identify corruption schemes and red flags in the three stages of procurement, namely pre-tender, tender and contract management; and provided step by step knowledge on how to develop a risk mitigation plan to address them.

In addition to traditional risk identification tools and techniques, the participants also learned how to use data to identify fraud and corruption in public procurement. The events brought together 82 senior and lead inspectors from Northern, Central and Southern Viet Nam.

Algorithmic analysis of bidding, presented by Prof. Lucio Picci
Algorithmic analysis of bidding, presented by Prof. Lucio Picci

The workshop comes at an important junction in Viet Nam, which is due to adopt a new inspection law. UNODC has been working with the Government of Viet Nam to integrate best practices into legislation, through consultations on the inspection lawregulations on lobbying, the penal code, and non-conviction based asset forfeiture measures

A post-training evaluation indicated that 100% of attendees stated that they were likely to use the skills covered at the workshop over the next 6 months. Mr. Vu Van Chien, Director of the Inspection Training School, Government Inspectorate of Viet Nam said: “I am very impressed by the quality of the trainings delivered by the UNODC experts. The trainings provided us with very useful new knowledge and skills to detect corruption and fraud in public procurement, and this will help to perform well our duties, to meet the requirement of the Anti-Corruption work in the coming time”.

This training was part of activities funded by the Ministry of Justice of Government of the Republic of Korea. Footage (where available) and written summaries of UNODC events are publicly available via our website.