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Vietnam to accelerate e-government development

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, said that financial difficulties and obstacles in connecting and sharing data should not halt e-government development.

According to a press release, the Prime Minister said this at a teleconference on e-government development earlier this week.

At the event with the steering committees for e-government, relevant ministries, agencies, and localities, the Minister said that positive changes have been seen in the construction of the e-government, specifically in the country’s digital economy.

However, despite the progress, Vietnam faces several limitations. For instance, the use of online public services has increased but it still has a limited utilisation and efficiency rate. Progress in building a national database is slow, especially for population data. Various software and IT platforms used in e-government lead to a lack of compatibility and communication. E-portals and electronic one-stop information systems in some localities have not yet secured their function, while the budget allocation for the construction of e-government is still difficult.

From the above analysis, the Minister stated his vision in the construction of e-government, towards the digital government and the digital economy.

He said that the development of e-government will improve four relationships; two external relations-government with people and government and with businesses and two internal ones- relations among government agencies and between the government and civil servants.

The goal of the e-government is to offer easily accessible, round-the-clock digital information and services to Vietnamese citizens. Also, to help strengthen publicity, transparency, and anti-corruption, as well as increasing people’s participation in the decision-making processes of the government.

The release said the e-government must put people at the centre and consider their convenience and satisfaction as the top priority, ensuring no one is left behind.

The cabinet leader assigned the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) to preside over the proposal of joint platforms of the e-government and investment plans to submit to the PM for approval.

Attention should be paid to redesigning the public service delivery processes before sending them online, with a focus on essential public services for people and businesses.

Relevant authorities will focus on building and soon putting into operation the national public service portal by this November. The MIC was also assigned to take the lead in coordinating with the government office and the working group under the National Committee on e-Government to annually assess risks and propose solutions to mitigate further risks in the implementation process.

Last month, OpenGov reported that the government launched an e-Cabinet system that aims to shift governance from a paper-based working model to an electric, modern, transparent, and efficient working environment.

The government has drastically accelerated the e-government building by learning from and researching about successful and unsuccessful models from other countries and enabling technological and relevant companies to engage in the process.

The e-Cabinet is an initial and important pilot step.

The Minister acknowledged the difficulties in applying the new method of working, which will be overcome by the determination to build the e-government. “If the country wants to successfully build a digital-based economy and a digital-based society, it is crucial to build the e-government and the development of the e-Cabinet is the first step, he said.

During the inauguration event, the Minister proposed making a legal framework for e-Cabinet to operate effectively.

The government’s members were urged to uphold the pioneering spirit and master the system. The government is working toward cutting 30% of average meeting time and using 100% of e-documents (apart from confidential ones) at governmental meetings by the end of 2019.

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