Exercising Integrity Initiative in the Business

“It is necessary to start the Integrity Implementation Initiative in the Business (GBIA) to promote integrity in business, which puts the accent on the cooperation between the business sector and governmental agencies.”

This is one of many proposals and recommendations in solutions the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) submitted to the Government to help businesses to promote business integrity.

Based on surveys, training and seminars and highly supported by the business community, especially SMEs, VCCI received many valuable information from enterprises on corruption challenges that they face in business. According to the VCCI survey of over 1,000 enterprises, about 20 per cent of surveyed companies reported that they were asked to pay bribery or “facilitation charges” very frequently or frequently.

More than three-quarters admitted that corruption is a serious matter because it is “destroying the business environment” and once it appears it will not go away.

Mr Nguyen Quang Vinh, Deputy Secretary General of VCCI, said that, within the framework of this project, VCCI has selected the Toolkit “SME Guide to Resist Corruption” by the Business Leaders Group (B20) in the Group of 20 economies (G20), exclusively compiled for SMEs and announced in 2015.

In October 2016, this toolkit was announced by VCCI in Hanoi. The toolkit provides practical solutions that businesses can easily implement and practice right away to resist corruption in all forms, helping better manage risks in business affairs. In addition, the project supports companies to build up the capacity with 24 direct training courses for companies in seven provinces/cities, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Hung Yen, Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc. For only three months, the project attracted more than 1,100 attendants.

VCCI has proposed some recommendations related to supporting integrity exercise in the business.

Accordingly, Vietnam needs to initiate GBIA, a key component of Project 12. This is understood to be a multi-stakeholder approach that promotes integrity in business and cooperates with government agencies, where State-owned enterprises and the private sector are the main actors.

He said, GBIA is expected to set up a nation-broad action cooperation programme in the next three to four years to promote the awareness, understanding and compliance of added regulations stated in the draft amended Law on Corruption Prevention (amended), which will be adopted by the National Assembly.

GBIA will set up a task force on corruption prevention and control headed by the Prime Minister and jointly implemented by VCCI and the Government Inspectorate. The GBIA will take opinions from various sources. Therefore, GBIA will operate on the basis of a multi-stakeholder partnership.

Mr Vinh added that one of the main outcomes of the initiative is the launch of a toolkit for corruption resistance in the business, support for capacity building and training for business leaders and employees in companies that regularly work with public authorities to fundamentally change the way that business is conducted in Vietnam.

The toolkit and training programmes will be designed by VCCI. In addition, there are many other similar tools that can be developed and applied to support responsible business, integrity, transparency and efficiency.

Quynh Anh

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