Most Vietnamese happy with admin services, survey finds

By Nguyen Quy   May 19, 2020 | 04:32 am PT
Most Vietnamese happy with admin services, survey finds
A man searches for administration procedures information at a computer in Ho Chi Minh City's District 12 People's Committee, June 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Nearly 85 percent of Vietnamese people and businesses are satisfied with administrative services provided by state agencies, a new report says.

Just 1.4 percent feel civil servants cause them difficulties and an even lower, 0.5 percent, have been asked to pay bribes to fast track their procedures, according to the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Index 2019 released Tuesday by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The percentage of respondents saying they had to travel many times in dealing with admin procedures was also low, at 5.4 percent.

The survey covered 20,000 civil servants and 36,000 citizens on seven criteria: management of administrative reform; administrative procedure reform; staff quality improvement; reform of the administrative apparatus; modernization of the administrative system with application of advanced technologies; public finance reform; and building and organizing administrative institutions.

A hefty 44.4 percent of the respondents expected government agencies to continue simplifying administrative procedures while 43 percent wanted the time for dealing with administrative services shortened further.

In terms of service quality, 5.6 percent of participants said they hoped to improve service attitudes of civil servants while 8.6 percent wanted improvement in the capabilities of civil servants.

In this year's survey, 85.6 percent of the respondents expressed satisfaction with the attitude of civil servants.

The State Bank of Vietnam topped the Public Administration Reform Index for the fifth year in a row, ahead of 17 other state agencies comprising the Government Inspectorate and 16 ministries.

The bank scored 95.4 percent out of 100, followed by the Ministry of Finance with 94.7 percent, the Ministry of Justice with 90.1 percent, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 88.2 percent.

The Ministry of Transport scored lowest for the second year in a row at 80.5 percent, with the Ministry of Health, 80.6, the Ministry of Information and Communications, 81.5, and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, 82.4, also in the bottom cluster.

Among the nation’s 63 localities, Quang Ninh topped the administrative reform index for the second consecutive year with a score of 90 percent, followed by the capital city of Hanoi with 84.6 and the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap with 84.4 percent.

HCMC, the country's largest city and its key economic driver, jumped three places from last year to seventh with 83.5 percent.

In 2012, Quang Ninh, home to the UNESCO hertitage site Ha Long Bay, established a board to focus on promoting investment and supporting investors. In 2018, it became the first locality in the nation to merge district-level tax offices into several regional tax departments operating under the provincial tax department, saving time for both businesses and residents.

It also reviewed all administrative procedures to ensure that businesses and locals could handle their affairs at just one administrative center in each district.

Vietnam targets climbing 10-15 places in the U.N.’s E-Government Development Index global rankings and breaking into the top four in Southeast Asia by 2025.

In the biennial E-Government Development Index (EGDI) in 2018, Vietnam ranked 88th out of 193 governments with a score of 0.59, its highest to date.

The government has acted on years of complaints from the public and investors that it takes too long to complete administrative procedures and that the process involves too much paperwork.

One official study in 2018 found it can take up to 218 hours and cost VND64.1 million ($2,700) to complete a single administrative procedure.

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