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Dec 14, 2020 / 09:33

Urban administration requires decentralization

The decentralization will make obligations and responsibilities more clear for the new administration model.

Decentralization is considered essential for the operations of urban administration that will be applied for Hanoi in early 2021, a former senior official has said.

former deputy minister of Home Affairs Thang Van Phuc. Photo: Zingnews  

The decentralization of authority becomes urgent as tasks, obligations, and responsibilities would be assigned clearly, making the governance more effective, former deputy minister of Home Affairs Thang Van Phuc told Hanoitimes.

Accordingly, a streamlined, consistent, and dynamic administrative apparatus is a must for the new administration model, facilitating businesses and people, Mr. Phuc said.

In Resolution 97/2019/QH14 dated November 27, 2019, the National Assembly decided to pilot the urban administration or urban local government for Hanoi which is scheduled to begin in early 2021.

Under which, the new administration model will abolish the People’s Council in 177 wards of 12 districts and Son Tay town for the 2016-2021 term.

The pilot model will help streamline the government apparatus, handle urgent issues faster, clearly define the leaders’ responsibilities, reduce the payroll, and save budget.

The pilot scheme also looks to strengthen rural administration in towns, communes and districts while renew task delegation and activities of the Party, Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations at communal and district levels.

To make the targets possible, Mr. Phuc emphasized the importance of a streamlined apparatus, saying that it makes the decentralization clearer and more effective. He highlighted the role of the People’s Committee in the governance and running the system in a more accountable manner instead of working under the “application-approval” mechanism before.

Meanwhile, he paid the special attention to the qualification of cadres, noting that the new governance will require civil servants who are competent at their jobs and have high sense of responsibility.

“Building the urban local government is to re-establish a new operating institution of governments at all levels,” Mr. Phuc said, noting that the role of urban local government in improving public services toward sustainable development remains tremendous and appreciable.

Regarding the abolition of the People’s Council, Mr. Phuc said there’s no worry about lacking supervisory tools for the operations of the People’s Committee in response to concerns about the administrative role of the council in the new governance.

 Rush hour in Hanoi. Photo: Linh Pham/Getty Images

Urban local government

Jameson Boex, a US public finance expert working with the World Bank, UNDP, and USAID and dozens of governments around the world, said it's necessary for urban local government to have their authority and discretion to deliver basic public services.

Reforming intergovernmental institutional structures to better match responsibilities is essential for realizing cities’ full economic potential, according to Jameson Boex, co-authors of the research report “Dynamic Cities? The Role of Urban Local Governments in Improving Urban Service Delivery Performance in Africa and Asia.”

The authors said it appears that political economy forces, rather than technical capacity, are a more significant determinant of whether urban local governments are institutionally empowered to effectively provide urban services.

They believed that it’s important to have effective local participation and accountability mechanisms. To which, citizens should be empowered to ensure that their urban local government respond to their demands for greater service coverage or improvements in service quality.