Thanks to the arrangement of the City Manager of Albany, I had an informative meeting with a FBI agent to discuss about money-laundering and anti-corruption issues which is my community challenge. It was a good opportunity for me to understand more about the legal framework of the U.S as well as the police’s work in dealing with that kind of crimes. It is interesting to know that U.S law does not criminalize corruption in private sector; rather, it should be under the civil law that is absolutely similar to the perspective of the businesses in Vietnam. In contrast, some organizations support criminalizing corruption in private sector as it has been increasing in Vietnam. U.S laws also require public officials at certain levels to make declaration on their assets and income.
Yes, transparency is always a core value of good governance. And we have learned a lot from the city hall of Albany where an impressive system has been applied for almost 12 years to put detailed budget information online.
Budget transparency is one of the most concerns in our home country and it is really a good model for us. It will take lots of time for Vietnam to get an ideal system like this. However, we need to have action. A suggestion might be starting with small groups first based on that we can create a circle of influence.