The Government of Vietnam has affirmed that administrative reform and modernization of direction and management methods are important and routine tasks. In 2021 and the first eight months of 2022, under the drastic direction of the Government of Vietnam and the Prime Minister of Vietnam, ministries, regulatory authorities and local governments have actively performed such directions, developed a lots of new initiatives, models, working methods and have achieved certain outstanding results, including: 1.758 regulations on business activities have been reduced or simplified; plans for reform of more than 1.100 regulations and delegation of authority to process 699 administrative procedures have been approved; 59 administrative procedures/ groups of internal administrative procedures in the system of state administrative procedures are found to be reviewed and simplified in 2023. The application of single-window system and inter-agency single-window system to processing of administrative procedures towards digitalization, regardless of administrative divisions has been attached special importance and has produced positive results; there are 11.700 single-window sections of all levels established nationwide to receive and process administrative procedures, including 56 provincial centers for public administrative services; 53/63 provincial governments have consolidated their public service portals and provincial electronic single-window information systems into information systems for processing of administrative procedures; many provincial governments have gradually upgraded their systems to meet digitalization requirements; more than 3.800 level-3 and level-4 online public services and 21/25 essential public services defined under the Scheme for application of population data, e-identification and e-authentication to national digital transformation (Scheme 06) have been integrated or provided on the National public service portal. Business environment and national competitiveness indexes on international rankings are maintained and improved.
National databases, specialized databases and information systems are developed and applied effectively, especially the National population database which has been digitalized and frequently updated from the commune level, contains accurate, adequate, clean and up-to-date information, and thus serves the issuance of more than 68 million smart citizen identity cards; many ministries, regulatory authorities and provincial governments have performed their tasks online and more than 14.2 million electronic documents have been sent and received through the National data exchange platform (an average of 550.000 documents/month); nearly 1.300 opinion forms of cabinet members are provided through E-Cabinet; 69/179 reporting regimes are integrated and provided on the National Reporting Platform; the information and operations center of the Government and the Prime Minister has been gradually put into operation; application of information technology to supervision and assessment is given consideration; the portal for consulting and searching business regulations is put into operation and performance evaluation indexes in public administration are applied.
The abovementioned results show that the validity and efficiency in governance, direction and management have been gradually improved, and thus facilitate people and enterprises’ administrative transactions.
Besides positive results, there are many limitations on administrative reform and modernization of direction and management methods. Some leaders at all levels, especially heads of authorities/local governments, have not really paid attention, drastically given direction, arranged time and resources as well as worked out specific roadmap and objectives; there are still barriers in administrative procedures in some fields such as land, education, healthcare, specialized inspection, import and export, etc.; reduction and simplification of regulations are still superficial and carried out without referring to policies for affected entities, people and enterprises; the percentage of online public service users is still low; connection and data sharing between databases and information systems serving processing of administrative procedures are still limited; digitalization of documents and administrative procedure processing results at all levels is still low and thus fails to meet the set requirements. Direction and management tasks in many local areas are still performed in traditional way without innovation; some ministries, regulatory authorities and provincial governments have not really performed their tasks online well, and still use weak information technology infrastructure facilities; personnel fails to meet requirements; information security and safety in many local areas are not yet ensured and thus lots of information has been unlawfully disclosed; dissemination of information on these tasks is not yet carried out in appropriate manner in order to change behavior and awareness of people and enterprises.
There are many reasons for the abovementioned shortcomings and limitations, including: direction and management tasks have been performed in a moderate manner with lack or determination and fear of reprisals, especially by heads of some ministries, regulatory authorities and provincial governments; cooperation between regulatory authorities/units are still passive and loose; industry- and sector-specific interests are still pursued; delegation of authority to perform tasks is not yet carried out; the habit of manually and traditionally performing tasks and using paper documents is not yet changed; some officials and public employees lack competence and have not yet strictly performed their tasks; connection and data sharing between databases and information systems are not yet made in a drastic manner; software programs have been slowly upgraded and developed; some public services are still not yet friendly to users; digital tools are not sufficient to serve direction, management, and real-time monitoring and evaluation; information technology facilities and equipment do not meet requirements. Administrative reform and modernization of direction and management methods are considered new and difficult tasks, face many barriers and need more time for adaptation as well as change of working habit.