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City district steps up connection with citizens

Update: September, 14/2017 - 09:00
A woman uses the application Bình Thạnh trực tuyến.—VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — A district in HCM City has stepped up its efforts to respond to residents’ complaints within five seconds via a newly-launched mobile application.

At 9.36am last Friday morning, a message popped up on the computer screen of the Deputy Head of Bình Thạnh District’s Urban Management Division, Vũ Thị Hội Diễm. A photo attached to the message showed a motorbike parked illegally on the pavement on Điện Biên Phủ Street.

The photo was also sent to the smartphones of district leaders and the heads of Ward 5, which covers Điện Biên Phủ Street. The issue was highlighted the moment Diễm received the message from a local resident, she told the Thanh niên (Young People) newspaper.

Exactly one hour later, at 10.34am, Diễm’s computer alerted her that another message had just come in. It was a report by the Ward 5 People’s Committee, saying that authorities had detected two motorbikes parked illegally as they arrived at the scene.

“After talking with the owner of the house, (we) found that the motorbikes belonged to mosquito exterminators called by the owner of the property. We asked the homeowner to move the bikes and will issue a penalty if the incident happens again,” said the message.

According to Diễm, authorities in Ward 5 dispatched a team to the house to check whether there was a violation as reported, and sent a report to the district leaders. If the residents’ complaint had not been solved within two hours of being sent, the application will automatically alert ward authorities or the district leaders will send the alert themselves.

The application, named Bình Thạnh trực tuyến (Bình Thạnh online), was first launched this April as an effort to monitor urban affairs and started gaining popularity two months later.

The district, via the app, has received nearly 4,130 complaints from residents since June, of which 4,122 had been solved, Diễm said. The authorities were still in the process of handling another eight.

“Most of the complaints were accurate. Inspection teams investigated the issues and handed out penalties where appropriate,” Diễm said.

Round-the-clock monitoring

Bình Thạnh People’s Committee Deputy Chairman Dương Hồng Thắng said that any resident could download the app onto iOS or Android devices.

Via the app, locals can report breaches in urban affairs, search for district planning regulations and the progress of administrative procedures as well as rate public services.

In terms of reporting complaints, residents are allowed to take a picture of the assumed violations regarding environment and hygiene, road and sidewalk encroachment or illegal construction with the address attached and send messages directly to the district leaders via the app. It is expected that a response will be issued in just five seconds.

“All progress in handling residents’ complaints is monitored directly by ward and district leaders. The monthly results of handling such complaints will form the basis of evaluating the performance of ward leaders and officers alike,” Thắng said.

HCM City Department of Home Affairs Deputy Director Lê Hoài Trung said that the Bình Thạnh trực tuyến app had been deemed a success, prompting the department to propose the HCM City People’s Committee launch similar apps for the rest of the city’s 23 districts.

In response to the department’s proposal, a city-wide app called HCM City trực tuyến (HCM City Online) will be launched in December. — VNS





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