State Audit targets economic restructuring activities

The State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) will focus on auditing economic restructuring activities and the efficiency of public investment and assets this year, says Deputy State Auditor General Le Minh Khai.

At a conference on February 18, Khai said that the SAV planned to audit 185 units across the country this year, over 20% higher than the number of units audited last year.

These include 14 ministries and central agencies, 35 provinces and cities and 42 State-owned enterprises and commercial banks, plus agencies under the Ministry of National Defence and Party bodies as well as operations at 35 key construction projects funded by Government bonds.

The SAV will look at the management and use of State budget and public assets at the ministries of Finance, Transport, Construction, Agriculture and Rural Development, Natural Resources and Environment, Health, Culture, Sports and Tourism and the State Bank of Vietnam.

Provinces and cities to be audited include Hanoi, Vinh Phuc and Ha Nam in the north, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Nghe An, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam and Danang in the central region, and HCM City, Long An, Tay Ninh, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang and Ca Mau in the south.

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Major State-owned enterprises on the "hot list" include those operating in chemicals, cement, medicine, railways, steel and paper.

Khai said that of the 42 State-owned corporations to be audited this year, insurance and finance institutions are the SAV’s primary targets.

"This is expected to serve the implementation of the Government's plans to restructure credit institutions and State-owned enterprises before 2015," he said.

Last year, the National Assembly assigned the SAV to manage the use of all Government bonds, and the Office audited 151 units including 34 provinces and cities, 17 ministries and agencies, 32 investment projects and 32 State-owned enterprises and banking institutions.

In the reports, it recommended financial penalties of over VND22.7 trillion (US$1 billion) and asked for the removal or revision of 71 legal documents.

The SAV also transferred five cases to police or State Bank inspectors after finding irregularities. They included alleged capital losses at the Song Da Finance Corporation, an inability to collect debts at the Sea Products Import and Export Corporation and wrongful lending procedures at branches of the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the SAV, about 70% of its post-audit recommendations have been implemented over the years.

VNS/VOV online