In its third session, the 14th National Assembly recently witnessed heated debate surrounding the first government report alerting the situation of rampant nepotism at state agencies with 58 cases in nine provinces. From cases of discreet favoritism during recruitment and promotion, the report has indicated that many an entire agency is made up of family friends of one another. Speaking about the report, Deputy Le Thanh Van from Ca Mau Province brought up an old Vietnamese saying – “First descendants, second bribery, third relationship, and fourth, followers.” He added that the capacity used to rank fourth, but now it seems that genuine competence could not beat sycophancy and connection.

Inasmuch as cases included in this report are only the ones verified by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the public knows that the real number of cases is starkly greater and yet to be covered by the press. Unrestrained nepotism only gives way to unfairness and social injustice, devastates normal workers’ morale, and might culminate in financial losses and inefficiency in civil service. In light of increasing exposures of these appointments, the 14th National Assembly promises to crack down on nepotism by carrying out investigation into reported cases and increase the level of transparency in work and appointments.

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