Friday, March 6, 2009

Inspections of Animal Health Institute show doctored accounts

Friday, March 6, 2009 20:57:40 Vietnam (GMT+07)
Inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have submitted a report recommending that police should investigate financial irregularities at its Animal Health Institute.

In the report inspectors said they found a number of breaches at the institute, several of which related to the institute’s head Truong Van Dung, who was suspended last September.

According to the report, the Animal Health Institute, under the ministry, had violated the law when conducting 19 research projects, misspending VND2.7 billion (US$154,500) and causing losses of more than VND1.5 billion ($85,830).

The projects had failed to submit any results from their research as regulated, inspectors said, adding some of the projects that hadn’t completed any findings at the time of the inspections were funded as early as 2005.

The inspections also found fake documentation regarding one project, “Tests of bird flu vaccine,” that overstated research expenses and pocketed the extra money.

The project, headed by Dung, had claimed VND805 million ($46,000) - more than double the expense limit of VND400 million ($22,890).

Another project, headed by Dung’s deputy Nguyen Ngoc Nhien, was also found to have similar irregularities in development of a vaccine against a pig disease caused by E.Coli bacteria, claiming VND430 million in expenses when the budget was VND260 million.

Spending spree

The inspectors said that in 2000 and 2001, 264 financial documents accounting for VND194 million ($11,100) weren’t signed by Dung or anyone in charge at the institute.

In another finding, inspectors said the institute had not collected VND22 million ($1,259) in extra phone costs from Dung.

The inspectors report also revealed institute spending from the government budget to build kiosks for rent on the grounds and illegal leasing out of institute land for car parks.

The inspectors said leaders of the institute had violated regulations in recruiting and appointing their employees, especially in deciding to send Dung’s son to study abroad.

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