Safeguard B Detail

Content with Safeguard B B1.2 times .


In Vietnamese law, accountability can be understood as “the provision of information by state agencies about the performance of their assigned duties and powers and responsibilities”[1]. More broadly, accountability relates to the transparency of the activities of public agencies, organisations and units, with the aim of ensuring a democratic approach to state management, recognising that society has a supervisory role to play[2]. In the case of the forest sector, Viet Nam has created dedicated institutions with competence for promoting transparency of the forest sector activities, which include supervision and monitoring of funds. Furthermore, forest budgets are to be scrutinised by a parliamentary and governmental process, and information about the forest agencies budget should be made publicly available. Accountability is also linked to the adoption and implementation of policies, laws and regulations to tackle corruption and possible misuse of funds.

The Anti-Corruption Law (2005) and Law No.27/2012/QH13 amending and supplementing the Anti-Corruption Law define corruption and corrupt acts, mandate the development of codes of conduct for public servants and place an obligation on public officials of a certain rank to declare their assets, and state that all public servants are expected to report acts of corruption where witnessed[3]. In addition, public procurement of goods and services needs to be transparent, and the order and procedures granting land use right certificates must be publicised[4]. Public scrutiny of draft socio-economic development plans, budgets and land-use planning decisions are also addressed in these law[5]. Where State Agencies have the authority to consider and approve projects and state budgets, explanations or justifications must be provided, and budgets must be audited[6]. If these are not satisfactory, complaints can be lodged with their superiors[7]. Denunciations can also be made by the public[8]. Government agencies are also required to report annually on corruption prevention activities undertaken within their respective jurisdictions[9].

The Central Steering Committee against Corruption has national responsibility for directing, coordinating, inspecting and promoting anti-corruption efforts. The National Assembly and its Standing Committee supervise anti-corruption efforts in the domains that fall within their jurisdiction. People’s inspection boards at all levels supervise anti-corruption efforts in their respective localities. The Government Inspectorate, ministerial inspectorate, provincial inspectorates, provincial Services' inspectorates, and district inspectorates direct the inspection of the observation of legal anti-corruption provisions. Where such observation reveals corrupt acts, it shall request the designated government agencies to investigate and handle them. The State Audit is responsible for organising the audit function both to prevent and to detect corrupt activities in government operations and administration. The Supreme People’s Procuracy is mandated to organise and direct the prosecution of corruption-related crimes and to control the related investigation, prosecution and enforcement of judgment in corruption-related crimes. Provincial Peoples Committees are responsible to deal with denunciations within their localities.

 

[1] Government Decree No. 90/2013/ND-CP, Article 3(1).

[2] Nguyen Tuan Khanh ‘Improving the legal bases for accountability’, http://noichinh.vn/nghien-cuu-trao-doi/201309/hoan-thien-co-so-phap-ly-ve-trach-nhiem-giai-trinh-292197, 18 November 2013

[3] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Articles 1, 3, 36, 38 & 45.

[4] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Articles 13 & 21.

[5] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Articles 15 & 21.

[6] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Articles 20 & 28.

[7] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Article 72.

[8] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Article 84.

[9] The Anti-Corruption Law (2005), Article 33.


A number of risks related to accountability and corruption control have been identified through REDD+ planning processes at the national and subnational levels. A 2017 assessment of potential benefits and risks arising from National REDD+ Programme[1] policies and measures identified risks in this area focused on the potential for 'elite capture' of REDD+ processes and/or benefits. For example, such risks may include:

  • A lack of transparency and manipulation of consultations processes for environmental impact assessment/strategic environmental assessments;
  • Financial mechanisms (such as business incubators) may better serve the interests of the private sector at the expense of smallholders; and
  • Elite capture of business models and associated benefits for managing and conserving natural forests.

The assessment at the national level also put forward a number of suggested measures for addressing the identified risks related to accountability/corruption control, especially elite capture, including:

  • To ensure inclusive, participatory and transparent consultation processes, clear guidelines should be elaborated covering selection of representatives, inclusiveness, information sharing/disclosure, consent processes, and so on. .
  • Clear policies, principles, standard operating procedures and guidelines for financial mechanisms (including the proposed business incubator) and business models should be developed, in order to enhance social co-benefits and address social risks;  attention should focus on developing and operationalising safeguards to protect rural communities and smallholders involved in producing key commodities.
  • Forest land allocation procedures should be clarified and properly implemented to address issues of inequity and inequality, and to enhance positive social impacts.
  • There should be capacity-building for public sector implementation agencies (e.g. Forest Management Boards, extension agencies) on safeguards measures and procedures.

In addition, Grievance Redress Mechanisms (GRMs) relevant to REDD+ in Viet Nam are expected to address complaints and disputes related to issues of accountability, corruption and elite capture (see Safeguard B2). The processes in place to ensure the transparency and fairness of benefit sharing are also covered under Safeguard B2.

At the sub-national level, analysis of social and environmental risks and benefits is also required for the development of Provincial REDD+ Action Plans (PRAPs)[2]. In specific sub-national locations, assessments have also been carried out through the Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment (SESA) during the development of the FCPF Emission Reductions Program (ER Program)  in the North-Central Coast Region of Viet Nam, and through the assessment of Environmental and Social Considerations for the Project for Sustainable Forest Management in the Northwest Watershed Area (SUSFORM-NOW) funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).The ER Program’s SESA and ESMF, for example, identifies a number of risks related to 'elite capture', for example of REDD+ benefits and access to forest resources[3].

 

[1] NRAP 2017, Decision No 419/QD-TTg dated 5/4/2017.

[2] Chapter 3, MARD Decision No. 5414/2015/QD-BNN-TCLN.

[3] Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund. Emission Reductions Program Document (ER-PD). Date of Submission: 5 January 2018