Criminal Law

Finance Officials under Scrutiny as 35 face Disciplinary Measures

Date: 17 July 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Vientiane Times

At least 35 finance officials have been disciplined for abuses of power, according to an official report. The report was presented at a three-day 6th Plenary Meeting of the Ministry of Finance’s Party Committee scheduled to end today, according to Social Economic Newspaper.

Ten officials have been dismissed from civil servant status, five were temporarily suspended from duties, three have been demoted from their former administrative positions, 13 faced their rank and salary upgrading review suspensions and four others were warned about their misconduct.

The above-mentioned disciplinary punishments were placed on their administrative records.

Additionally, the guilty cadres were also penalised in line with Party discipline measures.

In this regard, a Deputy Party Secretary of an organisation was demoted to be a regular Party member, according to the newspaper.

Three other cadres were suspended from participation in Party activities for six months, while two others were warned about their wrongdoing.

The meeting was chaired by a Politburo member Dr Bounthong Chitmany, which is also chief of the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Committee and Deputy Prime Minister.

A member of the Party Central Committee and Deputy Prime Minister Somdy Duangdy, who is also Minister of Finance, and members of the Standing Committee and other Party members of the Ministry of Finance attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed the leadership role of the ministry’s Party Committee over the past and discussed plans.

The disciplinary punishments against the guilty officials came amid growing calls to inspect officials in charge of revenue collection affairs including tax and customs officials to close loopholes for revenue leakages.

In an attempt to close the loophole and prevent officials from committing misconduct, Mr Somdy issued a decision in April last year imposing so-called ten prohibitions warning finance officials to follow them to avoid malpractice.

These included prohibiting the officials from intentionally delaying consideration process of any document submitted or creating any difficulty in the process for personal gain or the benefit of family members, relatives and friends both directly or indirectly.

The officials were banned from conspiring in covering up any misconduct or breaching of laws or regulations and its related evidence, notably the violation of tax and customs regulations as well as financial disciplines.

The officials are prohibited from producing or reporting false information that might cause losses to state organisations or falsely tarnish the reputations of others.

The officials are prohibited from facilitating any illegal trade elements, the avoidance of tax and customs payments or any other unlawful activities.

Mr Somdy warned his officials not to accept or offer bribes as well as not to request dividends (or percentages) in any form from businesses operators for personal gain and do not embezzle, cheat assets or money of the state and people.

Those violating the prohibitions will face punishment and disciplinary measures under relevant laws and regulations.

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