It was early apparent to Sweden that a major obstacle to achieving the overall goals of development cooperation was the very sensitive and difficult issue of corruption.
Sweden was the only country to be invited to work with the internal affairs Committee of the Communist party in early 2000. This resulted in support for the very first diagnostic study of corruption in Vietnam, presented in 2005. One outcome of this was a much needed increased openness to discuss corruption issues in the country.
Sweden took the lead in supporting the Government Inspectorate, together with other donors, in developing a reform program to increase capacity to handle corruption, complaints and denunciations. This work included development of the Anti-corruption Law, passed by the national assembly in November 2005 and provided a legal landmark in the Government’s efforts to curb corruption. This also resulted in the “Program on Strengthening the Comprehensive Capacity of the inspectorate Sector” (POSCIS) and the establishment of the anti-Corruption dialogue (ACD), which was introduced in 2007.
The ACD was established as an equal and constructive forum of goodwill between the government, the donor community and international organizations in Vietnam. The objective was to increase knowledge and understanding of corruption in Vietnam, open up the discussion and promote action and development cooperation in this area. Besides being the lead of the ACD, Sweden has worked with government, civil society and Vietnamese citizens and businesses with action on transparency and anti-corruption through support to: The Inspectorate system reform through. Transparency International (TI)’s establishment in Vietnam through Towards Transparency (TT), Vietnam anti-Corruption Initiative (VACI), a more professional media, and the Integrity and Transparency In Business Initiative (ITBI) through Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI).