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Senior officials held accountable for Viet A test kit case

By Van Ly

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HANOI – Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long and Hanoi Chairman Chu Ngoc Anh, who formerly served as Minister of Science and Technology, must take responsibility for their alleged involvement in Viet A Technology Corporation’s price gouging of Covid-19 test kits, according to the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission.

The conclusion was stated in a statement of the commission issued on March 31, following the commission’s 13th session from March 28 to 31.

At the session, the Inspection Commission considered the results of an inspection into alleged violations of the Party Civil Affairs Committees of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Health in the 2016-2021 tenure.

The Inspection Commission found that the Party Civil Affairs Committee and leaders of the Ministry of Science and Technology showed a lack of responsibility, slack leadership and poor supervision. They also let some leaders of the ministries and agencies violate the Party’s rules and the State regulations on the approval of agencies to sign contracts and assess, manage, inspect, supervise and pay costs for the research and production of Covid-19 test kits of the Vietnam Military Medical Academy.

The ministry must also take responsibility for promoting and proposing commending and rewarding the Vietnam Military Medical Academy, Viet A Technology Corporation and some individuals.

Meanwhile, the Party Civil Affairs Committee and leaders of the Ministry of Health were found to be irresponsible. They were also found to have shown poor leadership and supervision, allowing leaders of the ministry and its subordinates to commit violations in inspecting, monitoring, licensing and negotiating the prices of and buying Covid-19 test kits of Viet A.

Anh and Long must bear responsibility for these violations and for mistakes in performing their duties and tasks. Besides them, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son and other leaders and officials of the two ministries must also be held accountable.

According to the Inspection Commission, their wrongdoings have caused serious consequences and losses in money and assets for the State, sparked public concern and damaged the prestige of the Party and the Ministries of Science and Technology and Health, calling for disciplinary measures.

The responsibility of some individuals and units under the Ministry of Finance will be clarified later.

During the 13th session, the Inspection Commission also issued a warning against Lieutenant General Nguyen Viet Luong, secretary of the Party Committee and political commissar of the Vietnam Military Medical Academy, and three officials at the academy.

In addition, Colonel Pham Nhat Quang, chief inspector of the academy; Colonel Chu Duc Thanh, head of the academy’s office; and two others at the academy were reprimanded.

Meanwhile, Senior Lieutenant Colonel Ho Anh Son, deputy director of the Institute of Biomedicine and Pharmacy under the Vietnam Military Medical Academy; and Colonel Nguyen Van Hieu, head of the academy’s equipment and supply division, were expelled from the Party.

The Inspection Commission also proposed the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat discipline the standing board of the Vietnam Military Medical Academy’s Party Committee in the 2015-2020 and 2020-2025 tenures, Lieutenant General Do Quyet, director of the academy; and Major General Hoang Van Luong, deputy director of the academy and director of the Institute of Biomedicine and Pharmacy.

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