Publicize and clarify responsibilities in delaying final settlement of public investment capital for completed projects

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In 2023, the country had 72,468 completed projects that must go through settlement procedures. Photo: Internet
In 2023, the country had 72,468 completed projects that must go through settlement procedures. Photo: Internet

13,716 completed projects breached regulations on settlement time

According to a report from the Ministry of Finance, in 2023, the country had 72,468 completed projects that must go through settlement procedures. However, up to 13,716 projects breached regulations on settlement time, accounting for 18.9% of completed projects, of which violations of settlement approval time were 5,760, violations of verification time were 2,009 projects and violations of preparing settlement documents were 5,947.

In terms of value, 45,668 projects were approved for settlement in 2023 with a total investment of over VND438,683 billion; the total value proposed for final settlement was over VND 354,898 billion, accounting for 80.9% of the total investment; the total approved settlement value was nearly VND352,720 billion, accounting for 80.4% of the total investment. Thus, the proposed settlement value as well as the approved settlement value account for about 80% of the total approved investment value. Disbursed capital was nearly VND338,381 billion, accounting for 77.1% of total investment. The value deducted from the proposed settlement value was more than VND2,179 billion, accounting for 0.61% of the proposed settlement value.

In addition, 8,807 completed projects have submitted final settlement documents but have not yet been verified and approved with a total investment of more than VND250,978 billion; the total value of paid capital was nearly VND171,764 billion, accounting for 68.4% of the total investment. In addition, there were 17,993 completed projects that have not yet submitted final settlement documents with a total investment of nearly VND417,470 billion; the total value of paid capital was more than VND302,671 billion, accounting for 72.5% of the total investment.

The Ministry of Finance’s report shows that the remaining public investment capital is nearly VND31,289 billion, of which the central budget is nearly VND3,997 billion. The Ministry of Finance believes that this is a fairly large amount, accounting for about 4.6% of the state budget development investment capital plan in 2024 of VND 677,349 billion, higher than in 2022 (3.54%).

In addition, some central agencies and local agencies have remaining large amount of capital. The Ministry of Finance assesses that units who have not prioritized allocating enough public investment capital for completed projects using public investment capital, handed over and put into use projects, especially completed projects of which the finalization of investment capital have been approved, is a violation of the provisions of the Investment Law as well as the Resolution of the National Assembly Standing Committee on principles, criteria and norms for allocating public investment capital from the state budget in the 2021-2025 period.

Resolutely applying sanctions

To ensure the final settlement of public investment capital for completed projects to comply with regulations, the Ministry of Finance has proposed to ministries, central agencies, People’s Committees of provinces and centrally-run cities, companies and corporations needs to direct relevant units to strictly implement regulations in the finalization of public investment capital for completed projects in preparing, verifying, and approving settlements on time.

In particular, at the time of compilation, 24 units that submitted reports late need to send a document to the Ministry of Finance clarifying the responsibilities of relevant organizations and individuals in not sending reports on time as prescribed, affecting the report compilation time. For three units that did not submit a report were Hanoi National University, the Central Vietnam Women’s Union, the Vietnam Writers’ Association, and the Ministry of Finance requested these units to send a written explanation to the Prime Minister and take responsibility under the inspection and audit agencies.

General recommendations to ministries, central and local agencies, and state-owned enterprises, the Ministry of Finance said that units need to clearly identify the causes and responsibilities of collectives and individuals who do not comply with regulations on settlement time (delay in preparing and submitting settlement reports and delay in verifying and approving settlement) to apply sanctions such as: publicizing the list of investors who violate the settlement submission time; implementing administrative sanctions against investors who violate the settlement submission deadline; assessing the level of task completion, the emulation of individuals and organizations performing the finalization of public investment capital for completed projects.

The Ministry of Finance also proposed to publicize the list of contractors violating the time of preparing final settlement documents on the Bidding Newspaper and the National Bidding Network System to notify investors and project management boards so that contractors who violate regulations on time to prepare final settlement documents are not allowed to participate in bidding for new projects or bidding packages and take responsibility for all settlement report data before State inspection, audit and supervision agencies of the National Assembly and Government.

For units that verify, approve settlements, and prepare general settlement reports, the Ministry of Finance requires guidance on investors and project management boards to prepare settlement reports on time and in accordance with prescribed forms, ensuring accurate data and time.

For investors, project management boards, and contractors, the Ministry of Finance requests to review the remaining public investment capital of completed projects compared to the approved settlement value or the value of the proposed settlement or the value of the completed volume that has been accepted to report to the competent authority to prioritize capital allocation. At the same time, reviewing investment projects that have been completed, handed over and put into use and have not yet been finalized; clearly identifying the causes of delayed settlement, specific difficulties and problems of each project; and clarify the responsibilities of each relevant organization and individual, and propose solutions.

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