Government's anti-corruption report reveals more gifts handed back this year but practice of gift giving is still common.
A government report on corruption prevention in 2015 reveals that anti-corruption efforts in 2015 made some headway, such as 23 individuals handing back gifts worth a total of VND489 million ($22,000).
The 2014 anti-corruption report showed that the number of individuals returning gifts declined dramatically, with only 32 cases against 364 in 2013.
The government believes the implementation of guidelines on receiving gifts and handing them back when inappropriate has seen much improvement in recent times but the practice of giving and receiving gifts remains commonplace.
The practice of gift-giving was also confirmed in a report from the Government Inspectorate and the World Bank in the second quarter of this year, which surveyed 512 small and medium-sized enterprises. Forty-eight per cent admitted to giving gifts to officials in the last 12 months, of which 82 per cent of these were worth more than VND500,000 ($22).
The survey also showed that 88.6 per cent of enterprises gave gifts directly to officials, 46 per cent had previously given gifts, 66 per cent gave gifts to resolve problems, and 31 per cent gave gifts to maintain relationships.
Notably, 56 per cent of enterprises gave gifts even though officials did not specifically seek them.
In 2015, 46 leaders found to have engaged in corrupt behavior were punished, of which four faced criminal penalties and 37 were dismissed or reprimanded.
Regarding declarations of assets, the government said that the ratio of asset declarations to income was 99.5 per cent, up 8.2 per cent over 2014. There were 1,225 people that had to declare their assets and income, a major increase compared with 2014, of which five were found to have made dishonest declarations and were disciplined.