E-Government is the right choice for Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge – Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung speaks to Hải Quan (Customs) online newspaper about plans to develop e-Government in the near future.

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Minister and Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung


Can you tell us about the positive and negative sides of IT development in Vietnam?

The idea of building an e-Government started in 2000. After 18 years, quite a lot of positive changes in technology application have been reported in most administrative offices nationwide. Information technology has been applied in public administrative service centres in 39 out of 64 cities and provinces across the country. In these localities, State agencies now share data with each other, most notably in the fields of taxation, customs services, social insurance and healthcare. However, it is still not at the desired level.

Sharing data is not a new issue, but a very important one as it enables us to form close links between the central Government and local governments. However, there is still a lot of ground to cover. First, it is the institutional issue. We do not have any laws regarding what type of documents that administrative Government agencies should be sharing. Neither do we have any "foundation data" for e-Government, even basic national data on the population or land. What’s more, we don’t have a totally secure foundation for our data.

In September 2018, a National Commission for e-Government was established whose objective is to gear toward having a digital economy and digital society.

But what’s more important is the Government wants to provide public services to the public online.

This is a common practice in many countries, so what about Vietnam?

In Vietnam, we’ll have a fully fledged e-Government soon. However, at the beginning, we’ll focus efforts to put the information into electronic format. For example, we have already launched the National Single Window, the ASEAN Single Window, and the establishment of public administrative centres in cities and provinces nationwide.

With lessons learned from other countries and from our own country, we have come up with a proposal on the creation of a national database to submit to the Prime Minister for approval.

Will you please explain further about the application of e-Government?

Of course, e-Government building will depend very much on enterprises, particularly State-owned telecommunications enterprises. According to the Government’s plan, enterprises will be the main investors and when the project is completed, it will be leased to the Government. We’re confident that when the e-Government is fully operational, it will help us save a lot of time on meetings and paperwork. For the time being, we should develop a centralised database as soon as possible as at present, many of our data sets are being maintained separately by different Government agencies.

Source: VNS

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