Circular No. 02/2003/TT-BTC of January 9, 2003, guiding the financial management regime for foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions

THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE
—–

SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence – Freedom – Happiness
——-

No: 02/2003/TT-BTC

Hanoi, January 9, 2003

 

CIRCULAR

GUIDING THE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT REGIME FOR FOREIGN-BASED VIETNAMESE REPRESENTATION MISSIONS

In implementation of the Government’s Decree No. 87/CP of December 19, 1996 detailing the decentralization of the management, elaboration, execution and settlement of the State budget, Decree No. 51/1998/ND-CP of July 18, 1998 amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Government’s Decree No. 87/CP of December 19, 1996;
In order to unify the financial management of foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions, the Ministry of Finance hereby guides the financial management regime applicable to foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions as follows:

I. SUBJECTS AND SCOPE OF APPLICATION

This Circular applies to foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions (including diplomatic missions, Military Attaches’ Offices, trade agencies, resident bureaus of the Radio Voice of Vietnam, Vietnam Television, Nhan Dan daily, and Vietnam News Agency, Vietnam Cultural Center in Laos, Vietnam Economic Counselor’s Office in Laos, Labor Management Boards…) using State budget-allocated funding, or State-budget revenues they are allowed to retain for spending according to current regulations.

II. PROVISIONS ON MAKING AND EXECUTION OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES

The foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall base themselves on the assigned political tasks, the collection regime, the budget spending criteria and limits, as well as price fluctuations in the host countries, examination figures on budget estimates notified by competent authorities, and the situation of execution of budget estimates in the previous years to make annual State budget revenue and expenditure estimates strictly according to regulations and various forms guided by the financial agency. The estimates must fully reflect expenditures and revenues of the representation missions according to the State budget contents, be enclosed with explicit explanations on the calculation bases, and be sent to the managing ministries before July 30 every year. The managing ministries shall consider and sum up the estimates of the representation missions together with their agencies’ budgetary revenue and expenditure estimates, then send them to the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the State Budget Law and current regulations.

1. State budget revenue estimates at the representation missions:

On the basis of assorted charges and fees collected by foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions according to Circular No. 99/TT-BTC of October 25, 2002 and other revenues such as collected rents for houses under their ownership, mutual support houses, leased houses, bank deposit interests, reimbursed VAT amounts, collected training cost compensation amounts, commercial brokerage and public services, water and electricity charges paid by visitors and accompanying people…, the representation missions shall make budgetary revenue estimates according to the State budget contents and send them to the managing ministries for summing up and reporting to the Ministry of Finance. For these revenues, the representation missions shall remit them into the State budget custody funds according to the percentages specified in the Finance Ministry’s Circular No. 29/2000/TT-BTC of April 24, 2000.

2. State budget expenditure estimates at the representation missions:

On the basis of the assigned political tasks, the spending regimes, criteria and limits as well as price fluctuations in the host countries, the representation missions shall make budgetary expenditure estimates according to the current State budget contents.

3. Execution of the State budget revenue and expenditure estimates by the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions

On the basis of the State budget revenue and expenditure estimates approved by the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance shall notify them to the managing ministries so that the latter will allocate budgetary revenue and expenditure estimates to each representation mission on the principle that the total budgetary revenue and expenditure estimates of the representation missions must be equal to the notified budgetary revenue and expenditure estimates already approved by the Government and sent to the Ministry of Finance and the central State Treasury.

4. Sources of State budget funding used for allocation:

The Ministry of Finance shall allocate funding to the Vietnamese representation missions from the following sources:

a/ Funding allocated from the State’ concentrated foreign currency fund:

The Ministry of Finance shall draw up estimate-approval notices and VND payment orders (the sums inscribed on payment orders shall be the foreign-currency amounts multiplied by the accounting exchange rates prescribed by the Ministry of Finance). On the basis of the payment orders of the Ministry of Finance, the central State Treasury shall allocate funding from the concentrated foreign currency fund to the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions under the managing ministries.

b/ Funding allocated from the State budget custody funds at foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions

The Ministry of Finance shall issue orders of payment in foreign currencies from the State budget custody funds at the representation missions for allocation of foreign-currency funding to the Vietnamese representation missions.

On the basis of the foreign currency amounts deducted from the State budget custody funds at the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions, the Ministry of Finance shall draw up notices of approval of the Vietnam-dong estimates (converted from the foreign currency amounts deducted from the State budget custody funds, multiplied by the accounting exchange rates prescribed by the Ministry of Finance). On the basis of the estimate-approval notices, collection and payment orders shall be made for accounting consular fees or other revenues overseas as revenues while accounting the funding allocated to the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions as expenditures for the managing ministries.

5. Provisions on the use of funding:

The funding estimates allocated by competent authorities to each foreign-based Vietnamese representation mission shall be the maximum expenditure level in the year. The heads of the representation missions shall work out internal spending rules and make public the spending levels in order to ensure the efficient use of the funding and avoid wastage to the State’s public fund.

The expenditure items included in the estimates include:

– Item 100 “Payment of subsistence payments for officials and employees.”

– Item 114 “Payment of office and accommodation rents.”

– Item 145 “Procurement of properties exclusively used for professional tasks.”

– Item 118 “Expenses for overhaul of fixed assets in service of professional tasks and infrastructural works.”

For the remaining regular expenditure items, depending on the characteristics of ministries or branches, the heads of the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall be authorized to take initiative in approving the spending levels and adjusting these expenditure items to satisfy the missions’ operation requirements, which, however, must not exceed the total estimates already assigned by competent authorities for these expenditure items.

III. A NUMBER OF SPENDING REGIMES AND LIMITS APPLICABLE TO FOREIGN-BASED VIETNAMESE REPRESENTATION MISSIONS

On the basis of the approved annual estimates, the heads of the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall make public financial matters to the missions’ sections or staff. On the basis of the regimes, criteria and limits, the specific spending norms are decided as follows:

1. Subsistence payment:

On the basis of the competent authorities’ decisions on sending officials on long-term working missions, the subsistence payment levels shall be calculated according to the provisions of Joint Circular No. 22/2001/TTLT/BTCCBCP-BTC of May 9, 2001. Subsistence payments shall be paid according to the number of days of actual presence in the host countries.

2. Subsistence payment allowances: For cases of concurrently driving cars or taking over some tasks for people sent on working missions, an allowance shall be added. Depending on the characteristics of each ministry and the practical situation of each country, the competent authorities of the ministries shall issue decisions on enjoyment of this allowance, which, however, must not exceed 10 of the minimum subsistence payment.

3. Wages paid to hired foreigners or Vietnamese people:

Depending on each specific case, the heads of the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall decide to hire foreigners or Vietnamese people after it is so permitted in writing by the managing ministries. Wages paid to foreigners or Vietnamese people shall be inscribed in the contracts signed between the representation missions and the laborers, suitable to the market prices of the host countries and within the funding limits allocated to the representation missions.

4. Payments to individuals include:

4.1. Payment for attire and other personal belongings of officials and public employees during their overseas working terms (including attire purchased in the country before their departure).

Officials and employees going on long-term (three year-term) overseas working missions shall receive a cash allowance for purchasing attire, blankets, mosquito nets, pillows, bed sheets and other personal articles… This amount shall be paid in a lump sum for the whole term, concretely: 900 USD/person/term for the ranks of counselor and representation mission head being ambassador and his/her accompanying spouse; and 700/USD/person/term for other ranks.. For officials or public employees going on working missions and having received this allowance but then having to prematurely return home for subjective reasons, part of this amount must be reimbursed to the State according to the proportion of time. For cases where the overseas working term is extended for over one year by decisions of the managing ministries, the concerned officials or employees shall enjoy an additional allowance amount according to the prolonged duration.

4.2. Payment of air fares for officials and employees:

Officials and public employees going abroad for working terms and returning home upon termination of their working terms may buy economy-class air tickets for direct and shortest flights of any airliners and be paid for a package baggage charge for 30 kg per flight at the airliners’ rates (apart from the free-of-charge baggage limits prescribed by the airliners). Particularly for ambassadors, they shall be paid for business-class tickets; if their spouses accompany them on the same flights, they shall be also paid for business-class air tickets.

For outbound trips to begin working terms: air fares, baggage charges paid domestically, included in the cost estimates for outbound delegations.

For homebound trips: air fares, baggage charges, included in the funding estimates allocated to the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions.

For the time of waiting for flights during outbound trips to begin working terms and homebound trips upon the termination of working terms, a temporary stay allowance shall be paid for no more than four days. The payment of allowances for temporary stay during outbound and homebound trips shall be paid at the representation missions.

4.3. Payment of medical examination and treatment insurance:

On the basis of the decisions on sending officials or employees on long-term working missions, a support of USD 250/person/year shall be provided from the State budget for officials and public employees for payment to insurance organizations for their medical examination and treatment insurance. Where officials or public employees purchase insurance with premiums higher than the State budget’s support level, the concerned individuals themselves shall have to pay for the insurance premium differences.

For cases of emergency due to such serious illnesses as stomach bleeding, appendicitis surgery…, where the insurance-accepting organizations accept to pay only part of hospital charges, the remaining expenses shall be covered by the missions.

5. Telephones, fax machines

The furnishment of telephones and fax machines at the offices shall be determined as follows:

Fax machines: Each representation mission shall be equipped with one fax machine. For representation missions additionally performing the collection task for the State, they shall be quipped with two fax machines, one of which shall be exclusively used by their consular sections.

Telephones: Each working room shall be equipped with one telephone. Depending on the working geographical area and itinerant working activities of public employees, mobile phones can be equipped. The equipping of mobile phones shall be decided by the mission heads.

Local and international telephone calls and faxes in service of official and professional tasks shall be paid by the missions. For individuals making international calls or sending international faxes for personal purposes, they shall pay therefore by themselves. The collected amounts shall be remitted into the cash funds of the missions and recorded as funding decrease for the representation missions. To monitor the payment of telephone charges by the missions and individuals making calls for personal purposes, the representation missions must have regulations on management and registration of transaction telephone numbers, office telephone numbers, family telephone numbers or make decisions to assign package telephone charges to each section or each individual.

6. Rents for offices and residential houses:

Where the representation missions need to rent new houses or relocate, they must report such to the managing ministries for permission. Only after obtaining the managing ministries’ permission can the representation missions find particular houses and report to the ministries on the draft house-renting contracts before officially signing such contracts. Where under the house-renting contracts the lessors require the compulsory payment of deposits, the missions shall account them into the advance accounts and recover such deposits upon the expiry of the house-renting contracts.

7. Equipping of cars:

– For representation missions consisting of between 1 and 4 staff members: 1 car.

– For representation missions consisting of between 5 and 7 staff members: 2 cars.

– For representation missions consisting of between 8 and 12 staff members: 3 cars.

– For representation missions consisting of between 13 and 19 staff members: 4 cars.

– For representation missions consisting of between 20 and 30 staff members: 5-6 cars.

– For representation missions consisting of between 31 and 40 staff members: 7-8 cars.

– For representation missions consisting of between 41 and 50 staff members: 8-9 cars.

The above car quantity limits do not include the cars of the ambassadors and the heads of the Vietnamese delegations at the United Nations and to the United Nations.

The purchase of new cars, change of cars, purchase of 4-seat or 12-seat cars…, the prices and types of cars shall be decided by the managing ministries and included in the approved funding estimates. When purchasing new cars, there must be car-purchasing and -selling contracts between the heads of the representation missions or authorized persons and the car sellers.

– For all public-service cars above, car insurance must be purchased. Where cars have accidents en route due to individual faults, the individuals at fault must pay compensation therefor.

– On the basis of the above car use limits, the heads of the representation missions shall specify the management and use of cars in their respective representation missions.

– Where the representation missions are not equipped with cars or are equipped with the numbers of cars lower than the set limits due to expensive car-parking charges in the host countries, they shall be paid travel expenses in the package amounts allocated for purchase of mass transit tickets.

8. Procurement of other fixed assets:

For all other assets such as computers, photocopiers, fixed and mobile telephones, fax machines, video players, television sets, refrigerators, home and office and home furniture…, they shall be procured according to the material foundation equipment and facilities norms already approved and arranged in the funding estimates. Where such assets are procured, they shall be used and managed according to the fixed-asset management regime applicable to administrative and non-business units under the Finance Minister’s Decision No. 351-TC/QD/CDKTT of May 22, 1997 issuing the regime of management, use and calculation of wear of fixed assets in administrative and non-business units

9. Payment of working-trip allowances:

On the basis of the tasks of local or overseas working trips decided by competent authorities, working-trip allowances are prescribed as follows:

9.1. Local working trips are understood as working trips made by officials and public employees within the territory of the host countries. Local working-trip allowances shall be calculated as follows:

– Train, coach and air fares for working trips to localities shall be paid according to the prices inscribed thereon or money-collection invoices; where working trips are made by air, payment shall be made at the economy-class rate.

– For hotel room charges (accommodation expenses), they shall be paid according to actually-paid amounts at the average local charge rates.

– Working-trip allowances shall be calculated uniformly (regardless of positions) as follows:

Working-trip allowance

=

 

Minimum subsistence payment

x

The number of working days

x (coefficient 2)

30 days

The sending of public employees on local working trips must be decided in writing by the heads of the representation missions.

9.2. The sending of public employees in the representation missions on overseas working trips shall be decided in writing by the managing ministries. The regime of payment of overseas working-trip allowances shall comply with Circular No. 45/1999/TT-BTC of May 4, 1999 and Circular No. 108/1999/TT-BTC of September 4, 1999 of the Ministry of Finance.

9.3. In case of making working trips to Vietnam, the regime of payment of working-trip allowances in Vietnam shall apply. Specifically:

For officials and public employees of the foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions, who make working trips to Vietnam for 30 days at most (counting from the date of departure from the host country to the date of departure from Vietnam), they shall enjoy the whole subsistence payment in the country where they are working; for officials and public employees who make working trips to Vietnam for over 30 days, they shall enjoy 100 of their salaries paid in Vietnam instead of the overseas subsistence payment. During the time of working in Vietnam, if officials and public employees go on working trips far away from their working offices, they shall be paid the domestic working-trip allowances according to the working-trip allowance regime promulgated by the Ministry of Finance. The payment of allowances for working trips to Vietnam shall be paid in foreign currencies by the representation missions on the basis of conversion of the amounts in Vietnam dong into the foreign currency at the purchasing rate applied by Vietnam Bank for Foreign Trade at the time of payment.

9.4. The working-trip allowance regime for the Vietnamese representation missions in Laos and Cambodia: As these countries border on Vietnam, many foreign-relation affairs between Vietnam and these two countries must be settled in border areas. Therefore, officials and public employees of the representation missions in these countries, who have to make frequent working trips to border provinces, shall be paid according to the local working-trip allowance regime.

10. Stationery:

Quarterly, the working teams or sections in the representation missions must work out stationery use plans and send them to the finance sections or the offices of the representation missions for purchase and distribution to the working teams or sections suitable to their actually-allocated funding.

11. Furnishment of guest houses and collective kitchens:

Where conditions permit the organization of collective kitchens and/or guest houses, the mission heads may use funding for procuring necessary equipment for these guest houses and/or kitchens.

12. Receptions, banquets, contributions to diplomatic corps, gifts:

Guest receptions: For receiving visitors at working or courtesy meetings, the representation missions can only treat them with mineral water (or tea or coffee) but not cigarettes, alcohol nor beer.

Banquets: For festive days like the National Day, the founding anniversary of the Vietnam People’s Army, the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and the host country… depending on the even or odd year, the representation mission heads can hold banquets under the guidance of competent authorities in Vietnam. Banquets should be held in a thrifty manner.

For other banquets (meals) related to official duties, the representation mission heads shall make decisions thereon (on the basis of the managing ministries’ regulations).

Contributions to diplomatic corps: The obligatory contributions to diplomatic corps in the host countries shall be paid according to the notices of these diplomatic corps.

Gifts in external relations: For gifts to ministerial or vice-ministerial posts, the maximum expense is USD 25, and USD 15 for other subjects. The quantity of gifts shall be decided by the representation mission heads.

13. Overtime work allowances:

Individuals, working teams or divisions that really need to work overtime shall be arranged to have days off in return. If days off cannot be arranged, they shall be paid overtime-work allowances, which must be approved by the mission heads. Overtime-work allowances shall be calculated according to the formula in Circular No. 18/LDTBXH-TT of June 2, 1998 of the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs. Specifically:

Overtime work allowance

=

 

Subsistence payment currently enjoyed

x

The number of overtime

x 150

22 days x 8 hours hours

The maximum overtime level prescribed by the labor legislation is 20 hours/person/month and 200 hours/year.

For the Vietnamese representation missions which have specific activities, like the permanent missions at the United Nations and in Geneva, Vietnam News Agency bureaus, the Radio, Television and Nhan Dan (People) Daily bureaus, they can propose their managing agencies to reach written agreements with the Ministry of Finance on the maximum numbers of overtime hours suitable to their branches’ characteristics.

The base for accounting the payment of overtime work allowances shall be the individuals’ declarations of the overtime work contents, with the certification of the mission heads.

14. Regular repair and renovation to upgrade offices and residential houses:

For regular renovation and repair to upgrade offices, plans thereon must be worked out, enclosed with the cost estimate of each item to be repaired, which must be approved by competent authorities and included in the annual funding estimates.

15. Construction of new offices and residential houses:

All cases of purchase of new houses or construction land must comply with the Finance Ministry’s Circular No. 85/2001/TT-TC of October 25, 2001 and the laws of the host countries.

16. Liquidation of fixed assets:

The liquidation of fixed assets must be conducted by the Asset Liquidation Boards composed of representatives of the representation missions’ sections and chaired by the representation mission heads in accordance with the current regulations of the Ministry of Finance on liquidation of fixed assets.

17. For expenses for personal use:

For charges for making personal phone calls, Internet use (domestic and international), water and electricity charges paid by accompanying persons… the representation missions shall have to collect them according to current regulations.

IV. REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE CONTROL:

1. Revenue control:

Revenues collected in cash: Receipts must be enclosed with relevant vouchers

Revenues collected via banks: Checks, bank transfers according to banks’ Credit notes (reflected in banks’ books, banks’ balance sheets of revenue and expenditure accounts).

2. Expenditure control:

Accountants shall check payment vouchers to ensure that they comply with the permitted regimes, submit them to the representation mission heads for approval and inscribe them as follows:

– Payment cards: To be clearly inscribed with the spending contents, money amounts in figures and words (enclosed with invoices and/or vouchers issued by the goods suppliers or service providers, and their Vietnamese translations).

– Payment method: in cash, by check or bank transfer

– Expenses shall be accounted into the corresponding budget contents.

Where supplies and items are purchased in Vietnam, the invoices issued by the Ministry of Finance shall be required. For charges paid for excess baggage, the airliners’ invoices shall be required; where such invoices are lost, declarations thereof must be made, certified by the representation mission heads and enclosed with baggage charge notices issued by the concerned airliners, for use as a payment basis. The payments for domestically-purchased supplies and items and air freights therefor shall be made in the foreign-currency amounts converted from the Vietnam-dong amounts at the purchasing exchange rate prescribed by Vietnam Bank for Foreign Trade.

3. Adjustment of expenditure items in the annual funding estimates:

The adjustment of any expenditure items determined in the funding estimates prescribed at Point 5, Part II of this Circular must be approved by the managing ministries and not exceed the total allocated funding.

4. Funding transferred to subsequent years:

At the end of the budget year, all budget funding allocated in the year and revenues permitted to be retained for spending according to the current regulations, which are not spent yet, shall be allowed to be transferred to subsequent years. .

5. Opening of transaction accounts:

The foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall open transaction accounts at the banks of the host countries for receiving funding and reflecting revenues and expenditures.

6. The system of accounting books for detailed monitoring of revenues and expenditures, and forms of accounting and financial settlement reports are prescribed as follows:

The foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions must organize accounting and settlement according to the regulations of the administrative and non-business accounting regime, issued together with Decision No. 999/TC/QD/CDKT of November 2, 1996 of the Minister of Finance in accordance with the State Budget Law and documents guiding the implementation thereof and the State budget contents (see forms of funding estimates and financial settlement reports in the appendices to this Circular – not printed herein).

The contents of State-budget settlement reports must be the same as the contents of the approved funding estimates, comply with the State budget contents, and be enclosed with the account balance sheets up to the end of December 31 of the implementation year.

The managing ministries shall have to examine and approve settlement reports of the representation missions, sum them up into annual settlement reports of the representation missions for sending to the Ministry of Finance.

The time limits for submission of settlement reports are specified below:

The representation missions’ settlement reports must be submitted to the managing ministries within 30 days after the end of the year (December 31).

The managing ministries’ settlement reports must be submitted to the Ministry of Finance within 120 days after the end of the year (December 31).

The Ministry of Finance shall have to consider and approve the annual settlement reports of the managing ministries (level I); in the course of so doing, the Ministry of Finance shall be entitled to verify the consideration and approval of the representation missions’ annual settlement reports if deeming it necessary.

V. IMPLEMENTATION ORGANIZATION

1. This Circular takes implementation effect as from January 1, 2003. The ministries having foreign-based Vietnamese representation missions shall guide their attached units in the implementation thereof. This Circular replaces Circular No. 147/1998/TT-BTC of November 12, 1998; Circular No. 47/TC/TCDN of September 24, 1992; Circular No. 14/TT-LBNG-TC of April 21, 1998 and Circular No. 42/TC/TCDN of May 14, 1994 of the Ministry of Finance.

2. For foreign-based representation offices of Vietnamese enterprises, they may apply the expenditure regime and limits in this Circular.

3. In the course of implementation, if any problems arise, the ministries or representation missions should report them to the Ministry of Finance for study and appropriate amendment.

 

 

FOR THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
VICE MINISTER

Le Thi Bang Tam

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