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Quang Ninh, Vietnam Applies Electronic ISO-Standard Governance System

Image credit: Vietnam Plus

The People’s Committee of Quang Ninh on 12 March held a conference to announce the implementation of an electronic ISO software system in the operations of 227 local public administrative agencies. The move, which follows the Vietnamese standard ISO 9001:2015, makes Quang Ninh the first province in the northern region to do so.

In 2019, Quang Ninh had its agencies under the state administrative system transform the quality management system from the previous national standard TCVN ISO 9001:2008 to the latest version, which was the TCVN ISO 9001:2015 (paper version). However, the manual form of management and application of the paper version had several disadvantages. Therefore, in 2021, the Provincial People’s Committee approved an outline and detailed estimate of IT application activities using an electronic ISO software system, according to TCVN ISO 9001:2015, which was referred to as the electronic ISO.

The application ensures the provision of services for involved agencies’ general management and electronic document exchange. According to a report, using the system, workflow will be automated, unified, standardised, and independent of process “participants’ subjective will”. In particular, residents will be able to participate in quality control and work outcomes. Pham Van Thanh, the Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said the standardisation and application of the system in state administrative operations is expected to bolster digital transformation and digital government building in the area. The application has so far gained good results, with 100% of its public agencies already joining the system, claimed Nguyen Hoang Linh, the Deputy Director of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Directorate for Standards, Metrology, and Quality Department.

This month, state administrative agencies will focus on reviewing processes and regulations associated with the use of the software system to ensure the smooth operation of the electronic ISO apparatus. In the process of building and operating the system, the Department of Science and Technology must closely coordinate with implementing units to constantly monitor and upgrade the software and integrate it with other national and provincial data sources, the report noted.

A recent evaluation of TCVN ISO 9001:2015 in Vietnam showed it has helped local governments maintain a high level of service and improve sustainability. In addition to creating favourable conditions for the digitisation and management of official records, ISO 9001 has proven to be an effective support tool for administrative reform of state agencies, the study said. These are important steps as the country builds e-government systems and further digitises state administrative processes and procedures. It further added that the use of ISO 9001 has been effective across the board, with particular benefits observed in areas that are considered sensitive from a societal perspective such as attributing land-use rights, issuing construction permits and business registration certificates, and registering and certifying births.

The study observed that across ministries, sectors and regions, interest in applying ISO 9001 has increased year-on-year across the past few years. At the same time, inspection activities and reporting have been confirmed as important supporting factors in achieving good scores in peer assessment ratings (PAR), an index for administrative reform geared toward continuous improvement of administrative services in Vietnam.

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