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HCMC targets more autonomy

Update: September, 21/2013 - 10:15
A far reaching urban administration project initiated by HCM City will enable authorities to better serve the population, Dr.Tran Du Lich - a National Assembly deputy for the city - told Dai doan ket newspaper

As one of the authors of the HCM City Urban Administration project, will you tell our readers what its key objectives are?

The project's key objectives are to take the administration closer to the people and offer them better services. Four principles guided the city authorities. First, there is the principle of autonomy and accountability. This means the city wants to enjoy further decentralisation from the central government, particularly in areas involving the budget and issuing legal documents relating to the city. It also means a clearer delineation of what the central government does and what should be done by the regional government. Of course, co-ordination between the central and local governments constitutes an important element in the relationship between them.

Second, as a big city in terms of area and a population of more than 10 million, HCM City wants new and effective management mode. City authorities propose to establish four satellite cities. These cities will also be given autonomous status.

Third, there will be wise changes in the functions of municipal departments and sectors. The most notable will be that these agencies will work as advisors to the Urban Administration and as State management agencies. And finally, each individual and collective will have to show responsibility and accountability in their daily duties.

I'm confident with this new model, the administration will really work for the people and truly be the people's representatives.

Do you think the new system will face challenges in the beginning?

Sure! It is not easy to make change. People have to change both their thinking and ways of doing things. As a result, we have to take it step by step. While writing the proposal, one point was discussed a lot - that is the service offered by public servants to the people.

The other important idea we had want to introduce in the proposal is the streamlining of the administrative apparatus. We want to eliminate middle tier offices and gradually downsize the number of public employees. This is a tough issue, but I think, with a workable road map, we can achieve our objectives.

We also anticipate that about 100 existing legal documents will have to be revised. If our proposal is approved by the National Assembly, we estimate that it will take us about two years to review all the existing legal documents and identify what contents should be revised and get approval.

Do you think the relationship between the administration and the people will be democratic?

No doubt! Once the urban administration is in place, its administrative apparatus will work more efficiently and its service will be better. Of course, the people will be happy with the service they receive. I just want to repeat the objective of the urban administration model is to give better service to citizens. — VNS

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