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UNODC supports Lao authorities in developing systems for receiving corruption complaints

Vientiane (Lao PDR), 25 October 2016
- The State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA), supported by UNODC, organized a seminar on sharing national and regional experiences to develop effective systems for receiving corruption complaints, on 25 October 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR. More than fifty participants including various national government agencies, practitioners from neighbouring countries' anti-corruption agencies, private sector, NGOs and international partners contributed in the identification of practical and concrete solutions to improve the interface between the citizens, businesses and national authorities and the response to corruption complaints. These findings will be used to develop a roadmap for the country to address corruption complaints effectively.

In Lao PDR, complaints for maladministration and corruption are submitted through complaint boxes located in different government agencies and departments. Although levels of corruption are reportedly high, few complaints are made. The authorities believe there is a need to improve communication between citizens and businesses on the one side and the competent authorities for receiving reports on the other. 'The development of effective corruption complaint mechanisms is a priority' highlighted Mr. Vilayvanh Boutdakham, Vice-President of the SiAA.

'The SIAA has the mandate to receive and investigate complaints and requests related to corruption issues. We need to find ways to encourage citizens to actively report on corruption', noted Mr. Vilamoungkhoun Chithoublok, Director of the Complaint and Request Department of the SIAA, who presented the existing mechanisms in Lao PDR. Other existing systems in the country were discussed with the representative of the National Assembly's hotline and petitions, as well as strategies to encourage citizens to report. The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LNCCI) also provided useful insights on the current challenges and constraints faced by the private sector.

To discuss how the existing mechanisms in Lao PDR can be improved, the seminar provided an overview of the different models of complaint mechanisms in the region, with representatives of Anti-Corruption Agencies from Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia sharing views and experience on their own initiatives such as online tools for reporting corruption, accessibility and awareness of these tools, whistle-blower's protection and advanced procedures and systems to handle the cases.

This seminar is part of a first series of UNODC activities dedicated to support the efforts of the Laotian government for the fight against corruption, and will be used as a basis to develop a two-year roadmap for the SIAA, law enforcement agencies and criminal justice sector to address corruption in the country.

This seminar was generously supported by the INL, US Government with the aim of strengthening national and regional capacities to identify and combat corruption crimes.

Read more about UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Programme.