Government to strengthen ODA management

The Ministry of Planning and Investment is drafting a new Government decree with an aim to help the Government better manage the use of official development assistance (ODA) loans.

The Government is expected to issue the decree this June to guide the implementation of the law on public investment, which came into force early this year. The decree will replace previous decrees on management of ODA loans.

Duong Duc Ung, former head of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Foreign Economic Relations Department and a member of the drafting committee, said the draft decree has many times been passed around relevant ministries, agencies and six financial institutions, including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, to seek comments.

The Government, according to the draft, would continue its role as the overall overseer of ODA loans as it has done since international donors resumed ODA loans for Vietnam in 1993. Meanwhile, State agencies and organizations could register for ODA to fund their projects.

The draft ensures a transparent process for ODA disbursement.

According to Ung, donors have complained about complicated and non-transparent procedures in Vietnam. “The draft includes many procedures but they are clear and easy to follow,” he said.

Ung added the forthcoming decree could help prevent corruption and losses at ODA-funded projects.

Five different decrees governing ODA have been issued since 1993, but there has been no law governing this source of capital.

Previously, the Government planned to revise the existing decrees to make them match the law on public investment. However, the Ministry of Planning and Investment and other ministries agreed on the need to issue a new decree in harmony with the regulations on ODA and preferential loans provided in the law.

In the past 22 years, international donors have pledged ODA loans totaling over US$80 billion for Vietnam with 65% of it disbursed.

The Saigontimes