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Vietnam province investigates $2.85mn spent on souvenir tea sets

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 11:37 GMT+7

The administration of the northern Vietnamese province of Vinh Phuc has amazed authorities after spending VND65 billion (US$2.86 million) on pottery tea sets on the occasion of the province’s founding date.

Bui Minh Hong, head of the office of the provincial People’s Committee, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday afternoon that local leaders had ordered a comprehensive audit of the generous expenditure.

The directive was issued by the chairman of the Vinh Phuc administration, Nguyen Van Tri, to seek transparency on money used to buy tea sets as gifts for the 20th anniversary of the province’s date of establishment (January 1, 1997).

The provincial Department of Planning and Investment has been tasked with performing the audit and has requested authorities at district and municipal levels to review their contracts with suppliers.

The final report will be submitted to the provincial People’s Committee.

An investigation by Tuoi Tre revealed that the Vinh Phuc administration had gifted one pottery tea set to each household in the province and each delegate attending the ceremony for the anniversary.

In order to prepare the gifts for all residents, authorities of nine administrative units were tasked with signing their own deals with local manufacturers.

The contracts signed between local authorities and product providers were worth a combined total of VND65 billion, which was funded by the local budget and private sector.

Among the selected contractors, two firms sharing the same address in Hanoi inked deals with seven local administrations in Vinh Phuc with a combined value of over VND54 billion ($2.38 million).

Bao Quang Ltd. was chosen to supply the tea sets to residents in Phuc Yen Town, Vinh Yen City, Yen Lac District, and Tam Duong District, with total value estimated at VND26.7 billion ($1.17 million).

The Bao Long-Bat Trang Production and Trading Service Company clinched similar deals with authorities in Lap Thach, Vinh Tuong, and Binh Xuyen Districts, all of which were worth VND27.5 billion ($1.21 million).

Tam Dao District and Song Lo District have yet to announce their contractors.

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