Laos National Assembly has set up an anti-graft caucus in an effort to scrutinize the performance of government officials and find effective measures to prevent and suppress the rampant corruption within the bureaucracy.
It was an unprecedented move that members of the Lao National Assembly’s Sixth Legislature took their own initiative to set up the caucus to discuss, on the sidelines of its current general meeting, corruption problem which is among the many issues that the public is most concerned with.
The caucus was set up as a forum to generate opinions and discussions among lawmakers themselves and to interact with people who want to make their opinions known and submit their ideas and suggestions to the assembly’s meeting regarding the tackling of corruption problems and other law-breaking issues that have broad impacts on the interests of the Lao people.
Caucus member Thavone Thandavong, who represents Saravan Province, reaffirmed that the caucus would play an important role in the prevention and the suppression of corruption although past efforts by the National Assembly and by the government have been futile.
The caucus would be a channel to receive complaints and information from the people regarding corruption and, thus, will provide an impetus for officials concerned with fighting corruption to improve and increase their performances and efficiency.
Earlier, the Asian Development Bank or ADB estimated that Laos loses more than 100 million dollars a year in tax revenues including lost income due to illegal logging business, as a result of corruption within the government sector.Laos is ranked number 151 among the 180 least corrupted countries in the world by Transparency International in its annual report, receiving a credibility score of 2 out of 10. This means Laos is among the most corrupted countries in the world – in the top 30 as a matter of fact -,while Singapore ranks number 4 and receives a credibility score of 9.2 - the highest in Asia. Thailand receives a score of 3.5.
For more details in Lao, listen to Songrit’s report.
(English summary by Songrit.)