The Minister of Finance announced during a recent National Assembly session that the ministry’s administration system must go digital in order to combat corruption.
Mr. Bounchom Oubonpaseuth, Lao Minister of Finance, said during the ongoing Ordinary Session of the National Assembly’s Ninth Legislature that the ministry has decided to modernize financial management systems as a means of fighting corruption.
He said that a digital system should allow for better management, record-keeping, and tax collection.
The Ministry is to establish a single-window tax reporting system, or Lao National Single Window, so that customs clearance processes will no longer be required at checkpoints. The system will be complete and operational next year, according to the minister.
He said that some 53 civil servants were disciplined and four were expelled from the ministry this year due to corrupt practices.
Some of the civil servants have been placed on administrative leave without pay or demoted to lower-level positions, he said.
The ministry hopes to ensure that its new system will prevent officers from engaging directly with businesses, reducing opportunities for civil servants to engage in rent-seeking, taking bribes, or other forms of corruption.
The Ministry of Finance issued a statement in September this year to clarify accusations of corruption levied against it in relation to civil service entrance examinations conducted by the ministry.