Remarks by USAID Mission Director Joakim Parker at a Symposium on Improving Effectiveness of National Assembly Oversight Activities
NINH BINH, Vietnam, October 11, 2012 -- Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the National Assembly and staff: This collaboration between USAID, its project implementer partners and the Institute for Legislative Studies is one of the most exciting that we have in Vietnam. The bringing together of legislative leaders such as yourselves and experts to discuss this important subject is highly timely. Many of the reasons were elucidated so nicely by Dr. Thao.
Your constitution makes the National Assembly the highest organ of state authority and your constitution provides for legislative oversight. But it takes the vision and commitment expressed by leaders in the National Assembly and in the form of Dr. Thao and the ILS to bring that framework to reality, to contribute to the National Assembly's capacity to legislate wisely and effectively.
Reviewing, monitoring, and conducting inquiry -- these aspects of oversight, particularly when done in public view, contribute greatly to the quality of governance and to the public's confidence both in the National Assembly and the other branches of government. Routine oversight, the kind we are talking about, is something I am very familiar with as a member of the Executive Branch of the United States. In the Executive Branch it is something that we are used to, we are familiar with and we welcome in my Agency. It is something that improves our governance in the United States, and I am sure you have that same vision here.
Accountability sessions ensure the law is carried out according to the intent of the National Assembly can make a huge difference. They can inform the National Assembly as to whether the government encounters challenges in implementing the law and why, and this, in turn, can support the capacity of the National Assembly to improve future legislation.
The value of these developments explains USAID's interest in exploring an expansion of our collaboration with the National Assembly, including the ILS. Support for governance including transparency and accountability is a priority shared by USAID and the Government of Vietnam. This priority is also consistent with the Government of Vietnam's goals of strengthening the National Assembly and supporting Vietnam's social and economic development, to the benefit of all Vietnamese people. The momentum that you are creating through this session and others, including the first on budget in August, hold great promise and I am looking forward to hearing about the results of this session and about how we can expand our work with the National Assembly.
Thank you very much.