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Jul 05, 2021 / 14:15

Piloting urban administration model in Hanoi – major step in administrative reform

Hanoi has made significant improvements in administrative reform, which has been demonstrated by the growing satisfaction of the people and businesses in realizing administrative procedures.

Former Vice Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Tien Dinh told The Hanoi Times the trial of the urban administration model in Hanoi since July 1, 2021, would present a major opportunity for the capital city to further enhance efficiency in administrative reform.

 Former Vice Minister of Home Affairs Nguyen Tien Dinh.

What is your assessment of Hanoi’s efforts in administrative reform in the past years? What would be the challenges and opportunities for this process as Hanoi starts adopting the pilot urban administration model?

From my observation, Hanoi has performed well in administrative reforms, which have been reflected by a large number of administrative procedures being simplified, IT application in local governance, and incorporation of online public services.

The people and enterprises seeking to realize administrative procedures have all received results in a quick manner and felt increasingly satisfied with the quality of public administrative services.

Since July 1, 2021, Hanoi started the trial of the urban administration model in 12 districts and Son Tay Town, which, from my view, is a major step in administrative reform. With the model in effect, Hanoi will have two levels of people’s representation at the city- and district levels, while the people’s council at ward-level is abolished in 177 wards of 12 districts and Son Tay Town.

Before the new urban administration model, every major decision at the ward level is subject to the ratification of the people’s councils, leading to delay in administrative performance.

The new model, thus, is expected to speed up the decision-making process with a two-level administrative tier from the previous three-level and facilitate greater decentralization within the local apparatus.

But I think the main issue would be whether public servants and staffs at wards are up to the new tasks. As in the past, all decisions are up to the ward-level people’s councils, but now, the ward-level people’s committees would have greater authority, and naturally, more responsibilities.

In this regard, the new administration model requires public servants and staff to continue improving their attitude and dedication in serving the public.

What are solutions for local agencies to better meet public demand in administrative reform?

The nature of administrative reform is to trim off unnecessary procedures to save time and expenses for the people and enterprises. Ward-level agencies, thus, should be active in proposing removal or simplification of obsolete administrative procedures, while refraining from introducing new requirements in this regard.

From leaders down to every staff, they have to be aware that the people are at the center of their services, the ultimate gauge for the performance of administrative units

How can Hanoi fully take advantage of the urban administration model to enhance the public satisfaction rate?

The urban administration model is an opportunity for the local agencies to enhance public satisfaction, but its success is dependent on the performance of public agencies.

Without improving the attitude of public staff in the work process, the people would not see any changes in the quality of public services and fail to understand the benefits from the urban administration model.

Overall, the key factor to improve public satisfaction rate would come from the leadership at the city- and district levels to the operation of ward-level agencies and the quality of public staff.

Thank you for your time!

In 2020, Hanoi ranked 8th nationwide in the 2020 Public Administration Reform Index (PAR), which assesses the administrative reform level of provinces and cities, ministries, and ministerial-level agencies.

For the first six months of the year, the city’s online public services portal processed over 1 million applications, with the rate of timely return results at 91%.

Hanoi continues to step up efforts in providing online public services at the advanced stage of three and four out of the four-scale level, with 1,217 procedures at stage 3 and 468 at 4, while 444 has been incorporated into the national online public services portal or 31.02%.