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Observe 10 prohibitions or face punishment, finance officials warned

Finance officials are being warned to observe the newly imposed so-called 10-prohibition rule or be subjected to disciplinary measures and punishment under law.

Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Finance Somdy Duangdy on April 10 issued a decision that imposed 10 prohibitions demanding officials follow in a move to prevent them from involvement in any misconduct.

The minister has moved to prohibit his officials from intentionally delaying consideration process of any document submitted or create any difficulty in the process for personal gain or for the benefit of family members, relatives and friends both directly or indirectly.

He warned the officials not to conspire 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 reputations of others.

Finance officials are prohibited from being brokers, working as accounting consultants or accountants for businesses as well as prosecution of criminal and civil cases.

Mr Somdy warned the officials not to facilitate any illegal trade elements, the avoidance of tax and customs payments or any other unlawful activities.

Those producing fake documents, databases, tax payment receipts or other documents to be used for personal gain or benefits of family members, relatives or friends will also be penalised.

Those officials who do not handover revenue collected to the state or those who do not handover the full amount will be punished. Those handling revenue collected slower than the set time in any means for personal gain would also face measures.

The Mr Somdy warned his civil servants not to accept or offer bribes as well as not to request dividends (or percentages) in any form from businesses operators for personal gain or for the benefit of family members, relatives and friends.

“Don't embezzle, cheat assets or money of the state and people,” Mr Somdy warned the officials in his decision.

The officials are prohibited from spending state money or assets as well as seeking sponsorship in any form to buy or to be used as gifts for personal gain or for family members, relatives and friends.

Mr Somdy warned his officials not to abuse their power in making unlawful decisions or involvement in concession agreements, joint capital agreements, loan-releasing agreements and leasing agreements for personal gain. The officials are also prohibited from inappropriately amending technical standards, unit prices, project scales or to be involved in bidding process for personal gain.

He warned the officials not to approve or sign “ghost” projects in which project proposals are submitted but there are no such projects in reality. The warning in this regard came after reports had emerged that many investment project proposals were approved and funds were allocated but that no such projects were happening in reality.

“Any conduct that violates this decision, those found guilty will be educated, disciplined and penalised in line with the relevant laws,” Mr Somdy warned. The 10-prohibition rule is part of an effort to close the loopholes of revenue leaks. Reports have emerged that revenue leaks have been one of the reasons contributing to the fact that Laos has been unable to collect revenue to meet targets in recent years.

In an attempt to address issues within the finance sector, the Ministry of Finance recently launched a telephone hotline number, 1519, where members of the public can blow the whistle on suspicious behaviors.

Recently, the Ministry of Finance has launched the hotline number 1519 to better connect with members of public so that consumers can more easily air complains or provide recommendations regarding finance sector operations in the country.



By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 21, 2017)

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