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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Laos Keeps a Close Eye on Corruption

This Week


Laos has found international recognition recently for a number of positive advances, however  some reports have painted a picture of rife corruption among the country’s leadership.

In 2015 it was reported by Transparency International in the Corruption Perception Index, that out of 176 countries listed, Laos was ranked number 139.

During a recent event to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Party and the Government Inspection Authority, a document detailing the lessons received from previous inspections primarily focused on the Party and government recognizing the deficiency and faults of their inspections which ultimately lead to inadmissible conduct and unnecessary loss of resources.

In an attempt to rectify these issues, the Government Inspection Authority has appointed Party committee members of all ranks to conduct and participate in all upcoming inspections in hopes of establishing themselves as strong mentors to the rest of the administration. They have emphasized the importance of inspectors being responsible, honest, enthusiastic, intelligent and fair. Inspectors must also be well informed with regard to Party directives, policies, laws and other state regulations.  

Laos has seen prominent measures taken by the government such as cracking down on inflated electricity bills, illegal logging and fuel tariff exemptions.

From 2011 to 2016, 734 targeted inspections were carried out. This uncovered deficits exceeding 4 trillion LAK, $70 million USD, 36 million THB and 500,000 yuan due to corruption, while timber exceeding 3 million cubic meters was recently discovered to have been harvested or sold.

The inspection has uncovered a large number of civil servants that have violated the law, and though many have been exposed, countless still go unanswered for their crime.

Though the Party and government’s inspection authority has been making headway, moving Laos up 16 places to number 123 on the Corruption Perception Index for 2016, they still have a long way to go.

The authority has received over 3,600 complaints just in the past few years, and has pursued various claims. 37 individuals are now in a legal battle in relation to a malfeasance, where officials unveiled discount disbursements which caused the state to lose 700 billion LAK worth of resources.  

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