Cablegate: Vietnam's Inspector General Expresses Interest In
DE RUEHHI #1072 2811033
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 081031Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0288
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0089
UNCLAS HANOI 001072
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ECON VM
SUBJECT: Vietnam's Inspector General Expresses Interest in
Cooperating to Combat Corruption
1. (U) This is an Action Request. Please see paragraph 10.
2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Ambassador and Inspector General Tran Van
Truyen explored anti-corruption cooperation during their September
16 meeting. Truyen requested cooperation in two areas: ethics
training for inspectors, and identifying a U.S. counterpart agency.
He predicted more anti-corruption action as Vietnamese leaders
jockey to prove their willingness to fight corruption before the
Party Congress in January 2011. The Ambassador reiterated DOJ's
offer to assist Vietnam investigate charges of corruption against a
former executive of Nexus Technology. End summary.
3. (SBU) The Ambassador called on Inspector General Tran Van Truyen
on September 16 to discuss the GVN's anti-corruption efforts and
explore future areas of cooperation. After discussing Truyen's
participation in a VOLVIS program on the role of government and
civil society in combating corruption last April, the Ambassador
and Truyen exchanged ideas on concrete steps to strengthen
bilateral anti-corruption cooperation. Truyen said he wants to
establish a long-term relationship with a single U.S. government
agency with a similar mandate, to exchange information and ideas
about combating corruption. The Ambassador cautioned the USG does
not have a natural single counterpart, but is willing to assist in
indentifying a possible partner.
4. (SBU) Drawing upon his experience during his VOLVIS program,
Truyen said he was impressed with ethics training received by U.S.
local and federal government employees. According to Truyen, all
ministries have a code of conduct and training is mandatory for all
civil servants. However, the training would be more effective if
it included U.S.-style ethics training. Surprisingly, Truyen
offered that Vietnam could learn from the U.S. experience of
working with civil society organizations on anti-corruption
measures and welcomed further ideas for cooperation in this area.
The Ambassador promised to follow-up with Washington agencies.
5. (SBU) Responding to a question from the Ambassador, Truyen noted
that corruption remains a sensitive topic and predicted it will be
a significant issue next year in the lead up to the 2011 Party
Congress. Truyen commented his office would prepare an
anti-corruption report for the Prime Minister for discussion during
the Party Congress. He added that the GVN must now make good on
its promise to update laws, promote transparency and good
governance now that it has ratified the UN Convention on
Anti-corruption. The Ambassador welcomed Truyen's interested and
recommended they pursue the idea in greater detail.
6. (SBU) The Ambassador raised the case of a former executive of
the Philadelphia-based Nexus Technology Corporation who pleaded
guilty to charges related to his participation in a conspiracy to
bribe Vietnamese government officials in violation of the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act, reiterating DOJ's July offer to share
information on the case. Truyen said the Prime Minister had
instructed the MFA to respond to the letter, if there was
sufficient information to warrant it.
7. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: We welcome Truyen's interest in exploring
anti-cooperation and believe the Party's concern about corruption
between now and the Party Congress could create an opening for us
to deepen cooperation. Along these lines, Post would appreciate
suggestions for responding to Truyen's request for assistance in
creating U.S.-style ethics training course for Vietnamese
inspectors and indentifying a possible USG anti-corruption