Health minister, Hà Nội chairman bear responsibilities over COVID test kit scandal: party inspection commission

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Participants at the 13th meeting of the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa

HÀ NỘI — The health minister, Hà Nội chairman, and other senior officials at the ministries of health and science and technology, must bear responsibilities related to the fraud COVID-19 test kit case at Việt Á company, according to the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee.

The commission held a meeting from March 28-31 to look into wrongdoings related to the case and other violations involving party officials.

It concluded that the Party Committees and some leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health showed a lack of responsibility and lax management, resulting in violations of Party regulations and State laws.

“Such violations have caused severe consequences, losses to State capital and property, caused social discontent and affected the reputation of the Party, the health ministry and the science and technology ministry, to the point where disciplinary actions must be considered,” the commission said.

The commission said several officials must bear shared responsibility for the violations and individual responsibility for their mistakes. They included Chu Ngọc Anh, Party Central Committee member, Vice Secretary of Hà Nội Party Committee, Chairman of Hà Nội People’s Committee, former Secretary of the Party Committee and former Minister of the MoST; Nguyễn Thanh Long, Party Central Committee member, Secretary of the Party Committee and Minister of Health; Phạm Công Tạc, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Minister of the MoST; Nguyễn Trường Sơn, member of the Party Committee and Deputy Minister of the MoH.

Several units and individuals in the Finance Ministry are still under investigation.

The commission also decided on disciplinary measures for several officials of the Vietnam Military Medical University in connection with the case.

Lieutenant General Nguyễn Viết Lượng, Secretary of the Party Committee and political commissar of the university, and three other officers, were given a warning. Four were given a reprimand, while two were dispelled from the Party.

The commission asked the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat to consider disciplinary measures on the standing board of the university’s Party Committee in the 2015-2020 and 2020-2025 tenures, along with the university’s Director Lieutenant General Đỗ Quyết, who is also vice secretary of the university’s Party Committee, and Deputy Director Major General Hoàng Văn Lương, member of the standing board of the university’s Party Committee.

The commission also considered the outcome of an inspection into the Party Committee State Securities Commission (SSC) from 2015 to 2020.

It concluded that the committee had violated the principle of centralised democracy and working regulations, shown lax management and a lack of responsibility resulting in wrongdoings in State management of the stock market and securities transactions.

The commission named several officials who must bear shared responsibility. They included Vũ Bằng, former Secretary of the Party Committee and former Chairman of the SSC; Trần Văn Dũng, incumbent Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the SSC; Nguyễn Thành Long, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Hanoi Stock Exchange, former Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and former Vice Chairman of the SSC; Lê Hải Trà, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director General of the HCM Stock Exchange; and Nguyễn Sơn, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chairman of the Vietnam Securities Depository.

The commission said their actions caused serious consequences, negatively affecting the stock market, reducing investor trust and the prestige of the Party and the SSC, calling for disciplinary measures.

The commission also considered and issued disciplinary measures to several units and officials, including the Party Committee and officials of the anti-smuggling investigation agency, the standing board of the Party Committee of Hà Tĩnh province, the standing board of the Party Committee of An Giang province, and some Ninh Bình Province officials. — VNS

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