Q3. The police, medical and health services and land services were found to have thehighest incidence of reported experiences of corruption. Once again, a majority of respondents (90 percent) who reported paying a bribe to the police noted that theirlast bribe was paid to the traffic police. What do you make of these findings?
ANSWER: The police are one of the most important daily interfaces between thepublic and the state. The police, like other public servants, are on fixed wages. They
too need to accept ‘gifts’ and bribes in order to survive in a difficult economic
climate. Besides, there is a legacy of corruption by traffic police that creates theenvironment for further corruption.
Q4. Sixth per cent of Vietnamese respondents believe that ordinary people can makea difference in the fight against corruption. However, when comparing these figuresto responses in neighboring countries, Vietnamese respondents are actually themost pessimistic concerning their ability to effect change. On average, 76% of respondents from Southeast Asia believe that ordinary people can make adifference. What accounts for such pessimism?
ANSWER: The Vietnamese political system mobilizes the people for all sorts of issues.Millions belong to mass organizations under the Vietnam Fatherland Front. Vietnamalso has a system of letters of denunciation and a degree of tolerance. aggrievedcitizens are permitted to stand in public with placards drawing attention to theircomplaints. Vietnam is still a developing country. While Vietnam encourages thepeople to voice their grievances, Vietnam also lacks effective independent andautonomous institutions found in other Southeast Asian countries that can take uppublic complaints of corruption on behalf of the people. Vietnamese people paybribes largely to speed up the process in order to resolve an outstanding matter. Butlittle progress has been made in reducing pervasive corruption by key institutionssuch as the police, judiciary, and land services.5. According to the report, Vietnamese respondents are less likely to refuse paying abribe than their peers in other Southeast Asian countries. Only 27% of Vietnameserespondents who had been asked for a bribe had ever refused to pay the bribe,strikingly fewer than any other country surveyed in the region. In contrast, 71% of Indonesian respondents had ever reported refusing to pay a bribe and between 41-52% of respondents from Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand have allrefused to pay a bribe. Is it fair to say that the practice of offering and receivingunder-the-table money has become an entrenched norm in Vietnam? How would
that have a bearing on the country’s socio
-economic development and on foreigncompanies doing business here in Vietnam?
ANSWER: Vietnamese pay a bribe because it expedites whatever matter they areconcerned with. In this sense paying bribes has become entrenched in societalnorms.The Global Corruption Barometer did not address corruption involving foreignersdoing business in Vietnam. Some foreign countries have laws making it illegal to paybribes. Other countries do not have such laws and their businessmen presumablygive gifts and facilitation payments to advance their business interests. Corruption of this nature increases transaction costs and make doing business more expensive.Corruption distorts market forces and makes the economy less efficient.