|Administration reform and corruption were among several pressing issues that municipal councilors raised during the second day of a meeting of the HCM City People's Council. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HCM CITY (VNS) — Administration reform and corruption were among several pressing issues that municipal councilors raised during the second day of a meeting of the HCM City People's Council.
Though administration reform has been carried out in HCM City for years, residents are still not satisfied with the quality of administrative services as well as the attitude or performance of civil servants, councilors said.
Truong Van Lam, director of the city's Department of Internal Affairs, said there was still too much red tape at city government offices.
He said the use of information technology in processing administrative procedures had been successful in some sectors, limiting contact between officials and the people and reducing cases of harassment.
However, the application of IT should be more widespread in the city government system, Lam said.
He suggested that agency leaders take responsibility for the status of administration reform in their agencies, and that more inspections should be conducted to improve reform progress.
Tran Trong Tuan, director of the city's Department of Construction, said his department had invested a great deal of effort in granting investment licences, creating favourable conditions for enterprises and citizens in housing development.
Tuan, however, said there were still several officials with poor working attitudes and restricted knowledge.
He said the department would coordinate with other departments in granting construction licences and reducing procedures and paperwork for applicants.
"Next year, the department will grant construction licences through the internet and several training courses will be organised," Tuan said.
Councilor Tran Van Thien expressed his concern about corruption, which has become more and more serious and hindered the city and the country's development.
"I hear people talking about corruption everywhere. Viet Nam is a ‘powerful' country in corruption," he said, quoting the President's words.
Thien said he was not satisfied with the findings of 151 inspections carried out by 341 agencies.
Officials found that 30 agencies committed economic misconduct totalling VND85 billion (US$3.7 million). The officials withdrew VND31 billion ($1.3 million) and three houses and returned it to the State.
Nguyen Thi Ngoc Nga, deputy head of the city Department of Inspection, said that during the first nine months of this year, no corruption cases were found.
However, recently the sector found cases of economic misconduct at 80 of 341 agencies that had been inspected.
Nga said that State management in some areas in the city still had administration procedures that were too complex.
Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam, vice chairwoman of the city's People's Council, said poor administration reform and corruption were among the factors affecting the city's competitiveness and the quality of living for residents.
"People have paid a lot of attention to administration reform. We should evaluate the working attitude of officials and let them know that their salary was contributed by the people," Tam said.
She urged the councilors to continue to voice their opinions about corruption, administration reform and other issues.
She warned that red tape and corruption would influence the city's competitiveness during the global integration period. — VNS