Vietnam spells out ambitious e-governance targets

By Viet Tuan   June 5, 2020 | 01:09 am PT
Vietnam spells out ambitious e-governance targets
A man searches for administration procedures information on a computer at Ho Chi Minh City's District 12 People's Committee, June 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The government aims to provide certain online public services on multiple platforms including phones and process most government documents online by 2030.

A government program to turn Vietnam into a digital nation approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Wednesday, wants 80 percent of level 4 public services - which allow online fee payment - to be provided on several platforms, and 90 percent of documents at ministry and province levels and 80 percent at the district level to be processed online by 2025.

The program, which is also expected to create digital businesses that can compete globally, then aims for all level 4 public services to be provided on multiple platforms and all documents at the ministerial and provincial levels and 90 percent of documents at the district level to be processed online by 2030. Confidential documents will not be processed online.

All national databases related to population, land, business registration, finance, and others will be made public by 2025.

The government wants 80 percent of the population to carry out transactions digitally, and aims to provide broadband Internet and 5G connections nationwide.

The country also hopes to eventually be among the top 50 countries in the U.N.’s E-Government Development Index (EGDI) and Competitiveness Index, and in the top 30 in innovation and cybersecurity.

Vietnam targets climbing 10-15 places in the EGDI rankings and into the top four in Southeast Asia by 2025.

This would help government agencies and local administrations improve their e-governance, according to the Ministry of Information and Communications.

In the biennial EGDI report, in 2018 Vietnam ranked 88th out of 193 countries with a score of 0.59, its highest ever, and is steadily rising.

Singapore led the region with 0.88 followed by Malaysia with 0.71 and Brunei with 0.69. Thailand and the Philippines shared third position with 0.65.

The EGDI, besides making with an assessment of website development patterns in a country, also incorporates access characteristics such as infrastructure and educational levels to reflect how a country is using information technology to promote access and inclusiveness.

For years there have been complaints from the public and investors that it takes too long to complete administrative procedures and there is too much paperwork.

Official data shows it can take up to 218 hours and cost VND64.1 million ($2,700) to complete a single administrative procedure.

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