New admin reform programme underway
HA NOI — A new programme for the reform of administrative procedures for the decade 2011-20 should be with the prime minister before the end of the year.
Among its references would be data from ministries, government agencies and municipal authorities about the results of their administrative reforms between 2001-10, said the Home Affairs Ministry's Administrative Reform Department director Dinh Duy Hoa.
July 31 was the deadline for their reports, he said.
The new programme would have to respond to Viet Nam's demand for socio-economic development that included the strengthening of industrialisation and modernisation and deeper integration with the global economy.
"The review of administrative reform will be more accurate if we can collect the comments from enterprises and people familiar with the impact of the process," the director said.
"The task will not be easy and we have to draw on a variety of resources to gather the information.
"Here, the media can give us a helping hand."
Popular online newspaper Vietnamnet created a special column to focus on administrative reform during the last months of 2009.
Feedback exceeded expectations.
"Each article published prompted hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments, said Vietnamnet representative Nguyen Thi Van Anh.
"The response clearly showed people wanted to contribute their opinions to this issue as long as they felt their voices were heard."
The Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry has built a Provincial Competitiveness Index that includes a measure of administrative reform. "Although this material is mostly confined to economic indices, it also suggests that surveys can help assess administrative reform," said Administrative Reform Department director Dinh Duy Hoa.
"The important factor is the quality of the survey; questions should be straight to the point."
The director said there were many lessons to be learned from the implementation of the administrative reform over last decade.
"For example, in the initial 10-year programme, we set 2005 as the target for when salaries would be so changed they would guarantee the livelihood of officials," he said.
"But even now, five years after the deadline, the target is still out of reach.
"It means that we will have to ensure that any new target is anchored in reality."
Administrative reform includes institutional reform; administrative system reform; the quality of officials; public finance reform and the modernisation of governance. — VNS