At present, administrative procedures, primarily the procedure of receiving and settling citizen and organizational affairs, are stipulated by different branches and levels, each for its own convenience without regard for the people's aspiration and convenience. Therefore, administrative procedures have been usually complicated and have lacked uniformity.
Many State agencies have not yet strictly complied with stipulations on the reception and settlement of citizen affairs, or have usually referred the responsibility to other State agencies, thereby leaving many citizen affairs unsettled; some have even made their jurisdiction or collected higher fees than stipulated; they fail to make public the State's stipulations on administrative procedure and to assign qualified cadres to receive and settle citizen affairs.
Not a few State employees while receiving and settling citizen affairs have shown no respect for the people, behaved arbitrarily and condescendingly, and even pressured them to tender bribes. Such a deplorable situation has not only caused a loss of time, energy and money to public offices, organizations and the people, but also has engendered corruption, thereby creating indignation among the people and reducing their confidence in the State. Therefore, reforming administrative procedures is an urgent requirement, which responds to the people's legitimate aspiration. This is also an important part of the process for further reform of the national administrative system.
The aim of this reform is to basically improve the relationship and procedure of settling affairs among State agencies, between State agencies and other units and organizations, and between State agencies and the people in receiving and settling affairs.
The Government has decided to implement the following measures right from the second quarter of 1994:
1. First of all, the cabinet members, directors of government agencies, and the Chairmen of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly attached to the Central Government must continue to fulfill Instruction No. 40-TTg issued by the Prime Minister on October 29, 1992, which stipulated a number of points in the work-style of the chiefs of administrative apparatuses at various levels, focusing on the following main points:
a/ The Law on Organization of the Government and the Statute on the Government's Work-Style stipulate that Deputy Prime Ministers are assistants to the Prime Minister, and on behalf of the Prime Minister, guide, manage and are directly responsible for the settlement of affairs in the areas of their responsibilities, considering this as an assignment by the Prime Minister. The ministers must maintain regular contact with the Prime Minister, and when necessary, meet and work directly with him. When they work with a Deputy Prime Minister, they must obey his instructions, taking it as one made on behalf of the Prime Minister.
This spirit must also be observed by ministers in their working relations with the Chairmen of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government, and in the relations among the heads of administrative levels of a province (or city), this with a view to emphasizing personal responsibility, ensuring a centralized and unified guidance, and doing away with bureaucracy, harassment and sluggishness.
b/ In the working relations between the ministers and the Chairmen of the People's Committee of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government, the ministers must work directly with the Chairmen (or Vice-Chairmen empowered by the Chairmen) of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government to settle directly and in a responsible manner the affairs within their authority in the shortest possible time. The ministers and vice-ministers should not compel the Chairmen (or Vice-Chairmen) of the People's Committees of provinces and cities to work first with each department of their ministry before settling an affair. In case the proposal of a province or city concerns several ministries, the directly concerned ministry must discuss it with other ministries concerned, and should not make the Chairman of the People's Committee of a province or city go to each ministry to consult each minister before consulting the directly concerned minister.
c/ With regard to the settlement of affairs beyond the ministers' authority, the Chairmen (or Vice-Chairmen) of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government should work with the Prime Minister (or a Deputy Prime Minister). In this case, the Minister-Director of the Office of the Government is obliged to arrange a direct working session between the Prime Minister or a Deputy Prime Minister and the Chairman of the People's Committee of a province or city directly under the Central Government.
The stipulations in b) and c) apply to the directors of Government offices.
d/ In the working relations between the Chairmen of the People's Committees of provinces (or cities) and directors of public offices and the Chairmen of the People's Committees of districts (or precincts), they must also settle affairs in the same spirit.
e/ In their working relations, the Chairmen of the People's Committees of districts (or precincts) and the Chairmen of the People's Committees of communes (or wards) must also observe that spirit. The Chairmen of the People's Committees of districts (or precincts) must spend most of their time going to communes (or wards) to settle affairs on the spot, thus reducing to a minimum the settlement of affairs at conferences.
2. The ministers, the directors of State agencies at the ministerial level, the directors of Government agencies, the Chairmen of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government must revise all the current stipulations on administrative procedures and fees in their sectors, including the stipulations made by lower levels, in order to eliminate unauthorized stipulations on administrative procedure, and to supplement or amend unrealistic procedures which have been hampering the activities of public offices as well as other units and which have been causing inconvenience to the people.
If they find it necessary to modify, supplement or cancel any stipulations made by a higher level, they should report it to the appropriate State agency for consideration and make suggestions to that effect. This must be done at all domains and in all sectors, first of all in the procedures governing the granting of import-export permits, in investment, housing construction and repair, and land allotment; the granting of business and trade licenses; ownership and use of transport means; residence registration; entry and exit visas; registration of the buying, selling and transferring of property; the granting of loans; notary public work; and the inspection of businesses.
With regard to stipulated procedures which are still applicable but are recorded in different documents, they should be systematized into a single document under the authority of a minister, a director of a State agency at the ministerial level, or a director of a Government agency, for easy application, inspection and supervision. As for those procedures which concern several ministries or economic branches, the ministry with the main function of State management shall co-ordinate actions to issue inter-ministerial regulations.
The minister, directors of State agencies at the ministerial level, directors of Government offices and the Chairmen of the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government must directly supervise and guide the implementation of this work right from the second quarter of 1994, regarding this as one of the key tasks of the ministries, branches and localities from now to the end of 1994.
After the administrative procedures are revised, the ministers, directors of State agencies at the ministerial level, and directors of Government offices, within the scope of their management must publicize the system of documents stipulating new procedures in various forms, for every office, unit and person to know and implement it. After completing the amendment or supplementation of any procedure, they must promptly make it public, and this work must be completed by the end of 1994 at the latest. At the same time, through revising and examining their administrative procedures, they must perfect those sections which receive and settle affairs of State agencies and other units and of citizens, and resolutely discipline or dismiss those cadres who have violated the procedures or who are unqualified.
3. Apart from the laws, ordinances and statutory documents of the Government or the Prime Minister, only the ministers, the directors of State agencies at the ministerial level, and the directors of government offices are authorized to stipulate administrative procedures within their scope of management and are responsible to the Government for those regulations. The making of new regulations, supplementation, amendment or cancellation of existing regulations on administrative procedure must be done in writing in a uniform and accurate manner and must in no way contradict the laws, ordinances and statutory documents of the Government or the Prime Minister. The regulations on administrative procedure must be simple, easy to understand and easy to follow, and must be publicized for every office, unit and person to know.
With regard to a number of regulations on administrative procedure made by ministries and branches at the central level which need separate specifications to suit the conditions of the localities, the concerned ministries and branches at the central level shall empower in writing the People's Committees of provinces and cities directly under the Central Government to issue their own regulations. These regulations of the People's Committees of provinces and cities must be approved by the ministries and branches concerned and must be publicly announced like the regulations on administrative procedure of ministries and branches at the central level.
4. The ministries, branches and localities must scrupulously carry out Decision No 276-CT issued on July 28, 1992 by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (now the Prime Minister) on the systematization of regulations and the management of fees in the whole country. State agencies and public employees are strictly forbidden to set fees other than those stipulated in this Decision.
The Ministry of Finance must collaborate with the public offices concerned in providing uniform guidance for the management of each type of fee.
5. Stipulations on the procedure for settling each type of affair (after being revised, examined and supplemented by the ministries and branches in the above-mentioned spirit) must be posted wherever records, papers, and applications are filed or public matters are handled. It must be made clear which public office is primarily responsible for settling which type of questions. If there are any stipulations on the collection of fees, they must also be posted in a public place.
Those public employees who are assigned to contact citizens, receive their documents and settle their affairs must be qualified, honest, serious, and must wear his/her name card with photo and position, as well as settle affairs at the office only.
When they receive a citizen's file for settling an affair, they must issue an appointment for reply. The authorized office must settle promptly, and in accordance with law, any affair set forth in the file which has gone through proper procedure, must not delay it for any reason, and must inform the citizen concerned why his/her affairs cannot be settled. If his/her file is inadequate, they must tell him/her clearly what to do so as not to waste his/her time. With regard to those affairs, the settlement of which concern several sections of the office, the director of the office must issue a statute on joint settlement so that the citizen or organization concerned need only go before the chief public relations officer assigned to receive dossiers and settle such affairs.
6. Citizen may lodge a complaint or denunciation with the director of the office, the director of a higher office, or bring legal action against wrongdoing of State employees, such as their failure to observe a procedure, their arbitrariness, their arrogance, or their demand for a bribe in settling affairs. The head of the organization assigned to settle citizen affairs and the public employee directly involved must be disciplined promptly and properly if they commit such misdeeds; as an immediate step, they must be dismissed from their post; however, those who abuse the right to lodge a complaint or denunciation to cause public disorder and slander public employees and State offices must be penalized in accordance with law.
7. To hasten the revision of the system of administrative procedures currently in force as well as the making of new regulations, the supplementation, amendment and cancellation of administrative procedures, the Office of the Government is assigned to cooperate with the branches concerned to receive opinions and suggestions from public offices and mass organizations concerning administrative procedures which have become obsolete or contradictory to laws, causing annoyance to public offices, units and citizens, and which leaves loopholes, from which the unscrupulous try to profit. All public offices, units and citizens may mail their opinions free of charge to the Office of the Government on those administrative procedures which should be amended or eliminated. The Office of the Government is responsible for summarizing and classifying these opinions and then notifying the ministries and branches concerned of these opinions for settlement.
8. The Minister-Director of the Office of the Government shall cooperate with the Minister-Director of the Government Commission on Organization and Personnel, the Minister of Justice, and the General Inspector of the State in helping the Prime Minister guide the branches and localities in implementing this resolution.
The central organs of mass organizations and the mass media should closely cooperate with the ministries and branches at the central level and the People's Committees at different levels in widely popularizing the above-mentioned points with a view to a scrupulous and effective implementation of this resolution.
On behalf of the Government
VO VAN KIET