The Public Administration Reform Index, a standardised assessment tool introduced in 2011, is making monitoring of reforms less subjective, according to Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Tien Dinh.
Will the PAR Index improve administration reform from 2011-2020?
The Ministry of Home Affairs developed the PAR Index for nationwide use to eliminate subjective, one-sided judgments that have skewed true assessments of agencies' administration reforms. I believe the index will help us achieve new breakthroughs.
Is there any difference between results this year and last year?
The 2013 PAR Index, which scored the progress of reforms in 19 ministries and ministry-level agencies, gave an average score of 77.25 per cent. This was a 1.87 per cent improvement over 2012.
The results demonstrate that ministries and ministry-level agencies increasingly acknowledge the importance of administration reform, but that there's still room to improve.
Why was the announcement of index scores this year more public than last year?
The PAR Index is expected to become a comprehensive, accurate, unbiased and quantitative tool to assess annual and periodic administration reform in government sectors, ministries and local authorities.
A public announcement of the PAR Index will help authorities better identify their reform management strengths and weaknesses, motivate leaders and increase accountability.
Recently concerns have been voiced about the accuracy of the index's results. What's your opinion about making changes to the method of scoring?
When we developed the index, we consulted specialists, ministries, sectors and local authorities to form a 100-point scoring scale. The ministry-level PAR Index scale allocates 60 points for self-assessment conducted by the agency itself, and 40 points allocated to an external assessment conducted by independent or other Government agencies. The province-level has 62 and 38 points respectively.
We have noticed some drawbacks to this scoring method, but we cannot quantitatively measure the impact after only two years of implementation.
We plan to hold a conference in which sectors, ministries and local authorities can share their experiences and suggest changes for 2015. — VNS