Deputy PM: Administrative reform remains slow

VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the streamlining of administrative procedures at ministries and local governments has remained slow, affecting the business environment and lives of people in the country.

“Our administrative reform progress has been slow and many problems faced by people and enterprises have not been addressed thoroughly. Problems take longer time to be solved in the fields of land, customs, taxation and construction,” Phuc said at a conference held in Hanoi last week to announce Public Administrative Reform Index 2013 (PAR INDEX 2013).

Phuc said Vietnam advanced two places to the 68th position in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitive Index 2014-2015 Rankings released last week, but it was still poorly compared to that of other countries.

“Administrative procedures, quality of public services and civil servants are the three weakest points, obstructing the nation’s development in general, especially the investment and business environment. We need to review these strictly,” he said.

Phuc pointed out that the Ministry of Industry and Trade has handled some procedures for up to 180 days out of 365 days in a year, which is a real concern for local businesses.

He noted the annual PAR INDEX announcement is an important criterion to judge the governance capacity of leaders of ministries, departments and localities.

According to the latest PAR INDEX announcement, the Ministry of Transport topped the ministry-level category among 19 surveyed ministerial-level agencies as it secured 81.06 of the 100 score, followed by the State Bank of Vietnam (80.38) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Health and the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs came last on the list with 74.19 and 66.71 respectively.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Transport Pham Hong Truong said administrative reform has been identified as the most important task of the ministry. The minister and all officials of the ministry have concentrated their efforts on fulfilling this task.

Truong said the ministry has got much criticism from a number of business associations, but it has looked into the reality and causes of their concerns to find ways to cope.

The ministry has simplified its apparatus and created a high spirit of competition among civil servants. Besides, it has held public examinations to select people for high-ranking positions and publicize information in local media.

The ministry has also leased Internet infrastructure of Viettel and VNPT to run its website instead of self-investment and development. Around 100 public services have been made available on the portal and the ministry plans more services in the list within this year, Truong said.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade slid by four positions in PAR INDEX 2013 compared to that of the previous year despite Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa said the ministry had tried hard to simplify administrative procedures.

“Last year, many ministries studied our experiences, but we will have to learn lessons from the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this year,” Thoa said.   

For localities, Danang City continued taking the lead with 87.02 while Son La Province stood at the bottom of the list with 58.91. Hanoi City ranked fifth while HCMC came in ninth.

This is the second year the Ministry of the Interior has announced the index as requested by the Government. PAR INDEX is a new tool in realizing the master plan on State Administrative Reform in 2011-2020.

SGT/VNN

Administrative reform, administrative procedures, public services, civil servant
 
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