Simplification of civil status procedures highlight administrative reform

December 20, 2022 - 09:07
Citizens can register their civil status efficiently online, and 62 out of 63 provinces and cities now support online death certification and marriage certification.


A conference reviewing six years of the Law on Civil Status in Hà Nội on Sunday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Citizens can register their civil status efficiently online, and 62 out of 63 provinces and cities now support online death certification and marriage certification.

The data used in these registrations are being connected to the National Database on Population Administration, and are greatly helping administrative reforms.

These advances were discussed at a recent conference reviewing the six years of the implementation of the Law on Civil Status in Hà Nội.

After six years of implementation, Vietnamese citizens can now select the most convenient way to register for civil status: either directly at the civil status office, through mail or online.

Every locality in Việt Nam now offers online birth certification, with 62 out of 63 localities now supporting online death certification and marriage certification. Most localities have an information database on administrative procedures to help increase the efficiency of administrative officials.

More than 58 million data entries of civil status have been registered on the civil status database as of December 12, with 36.3 million entries of birth certification.

Over 4 million entries of birth certifications have been transferred to social insurance authorities for registration, 8 million entries are related to marriage registration, while 6 million are for death certifications.

"In the past, a citizen had to keep track of 22 personal documents, and after the database is connected, citizens only need a personal identification number," said a representative of the Police Department on Administrative Management of Social Order. "Being able to access data while executing administrative procedures will make personal documents redundant, reduce the time of procedure execution, as well as cost and time saving for citizens."

Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyễn Khánh Ngọc said that people's satisfaction with civil status registration is recognised nationwide and is considered a bright spot in administrative reform in Việt Nam.

Civil status registration procedures and civil status officials have gradually become more orderly and professional. The reform of administrative procedures in civil status registration and management has been promoted, creating more favourable conditions for people in civil status registration.

However, the process of implementing the Law on Civil Status also has shortcomings such as the construction and completion of the national civil status database faces many difficulties in terms of resources; civil servants engaged in civil status work still lack in quantity and quality; the death registration rate is still low and the timing and completion of the registration of civil status need to be improved.

According to experts, accurate and complete civil status statistics will play a very important role in formulating national and local policies as well as measuring development outcomes. For example, death-related statistics and demographic characteristics are important information in the design, implementation, and monitoring of public health policies, as well as the detection of emerging health-related problems.

According to Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Việt Nam, a simpler civil status registration mechanism throughout the life cycle is very important as it ensures that birth, marriage, death and other civil status events are registered and recorded by competent legal authorities.

“Citizens with civil status documents can access public services such as education, health care, employment, social protection and other services. Civil status registration is also particularly important for women, creating a framework to address gender inequality,” said Kitahara.

“We have only eight years left to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and civil status registration and statistics systems play an important role in that process,” said Kitahara. "We need to remember that 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals use indicators with quality registry and statistical data. Thus, civil status registration and statistics can be seen as a promotion tool to achieve these sustainable development goals.”

To improve the quality of the implementation of the Law on Civil Status in the coming time, the Ministry of Justice has developed a plan to continue implementing administrative reform, creating favourable conditions for people when registering for civil status; consolidating and building a close coordination mechanism among relevant sectors and levels; and stepping up the monitoring, urging, professional guidance and review of documents to enhance the effectiveness of State management of civil status.

The Ministry of Justice also focuses on consolidating and improving the capacity of civil status officials and civil servants, especially at district and commune levels. — VNS