On November 3, within the framework of Vietnam’s ASEAN Chair 2020 the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) organized the online ASEAN workshop Experiences sharing on strengthening participatory citizenry in decision-making process.
The Director General of International Cooperation Department, MOHA Chu Tuan Tu chaired the workshop.
Attending the online workshop at the Ministry of Home Affairs of Vietnam were representatives of a number of ministries and central agencies; representative of departments and units under MOHA. NAPA’s Director of International Cooperation, Ms. Pham Thi Quynh Hoa and two international cooperation officers as NAPA representatives were participating the workshop. Participating the online workshop were representatives from the Public Service Commission of ASEAN countries and the ASEAN Secretariat.
Speaking at the opening of the Workshop, Mr. Chu Tuan Tu said that the workshop was one of the activities to realize Vietnam’s tasks as the ASEAN Chair for 2020. The workshop was organized to identify the role of the people in policy making and decision making, and share experiences and best practices in initiatives to promote the role of the people in public management in general and in policy-making and decision-making in particular.
At the same time, it aimed to propose solutions to further promote the role of the people in public management and policy formulation in the new context and situation.
In the presentation “Public consultation on law projects and ordinances on the internet – Experience from the National Assembly of Vietnam”, Mr. Hoang Minh Hieu, General Director of Information Department, Office of the National Assembly (NA) said NA has implemented online activities such as online NA session, holding online meeting of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPA). These online activities promote the online consultation for high effectiveness of the law and policy formulation in Vietnam.
The 2013 Constitution of Vietnam states: “Citizens have the right to participate in state and social management, participate in discussions and make recommendations to state agencies on grassroots, local and national issues”. The Law on the Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents also stipulates the reviews and reports of policy impact assessment in the proposal for law and ordinance development by the NA Standing Committee, Council of Ethnic Minorities, NA Committees, NA deputies must be posted online on websites, web portals of state agencies.
Vietnam strictly regulates online consultation of the people. In 2017, the NA Office developed the website “Law Draft Online” to provide more convenient tools for people to contribute comments on law and ordinance projects and legal documents.
The law draft online provides background information of the draft; opinions of the people, NA deputies, experts; research report; verification report; susmission notes and related documents; legal news; voting results.
After 03 years of implementation, 98% of law projects in the law development program have been published; the rest of 02% not published because of the national security reason. Law projects such as the 2013 Constitution; Land Law, Law on Marriage and Family; Law on People’s Public Security have gained many opinions of the people. The NA Office has incorporated the comments of the people in the report and send it to the National Assembly deputies for assessment and reference. 95% of the NA deputies rated the comments as helpful; 45.4% regularly refer when speaking at the NA sessions.
In order to improve the online public consultation on the law and ordinance projects, Mr. Hoang Minh Hieu emphasized that it is necessary to improve and innovate the consultation method through digitizing and posting online; informing the people about the existence of the website and the content of the law and ordinance draft; enhancing interaction between the NA agencies, people, businesses and organizations; Social networks could be used to inform people how their opinions are incorporated.
Representatives of the Brunei Public Service Commission said that governments in the globe are facing complex challenges which are interrelated and rapidly changing. Government has an obligation to reach the people and convey the benefits of the participatory planning and development in the country.
In Brunei, community participation is one of the initiatives of the Civil Service which assists the Government in coping with economic and social challenges as well as in increasing community participation in the policy making and implementation of the Government’s programs and projects. The process of community participation consists of six steps: increase public interest; focus on important issues; access to specific knowledge; minimize the undesirable consequences and impacts; identify suitable strategies; improve communication and accountability.
As a result, the Government of Brunei empowers its citizens to participate in the realization of national priorities and goals; makes a commitment to work together with the community on solutions and choice; encourage people in strategy development.
A lesson learned by representatives of the Brunei Public Service Commission is that community participation can enhance development outcomes. Public participation can lead to greater transparency, accountability and social inclusion, tangible improvements in the people’s lives. The Brunei government recognizes the importance of public participation in policy implementation and in making appropriate decisions.
Representatives from the Ministry of Civil Service of Cambodia said that the 2008 Law on Administrative Management of Capitals, Provinces, Municipalities, Districts and Khan briefly mentioned: “Both male and female citizens are empowered to participate in decision-making to respond well to their aspirations ”. Through the National Committee for Sub-national Democratic Development (NCDD), the Government promotes public participation in the decision-making process through the implementation of the Project for public participation in the sub-national administrations since 2014. With the implementation of this Project, local councils began to engage people in commune development planning by listening to the people and use of thei ideas, concerns, and recommendations as input for the development plan.
Public participation in the policy-making process consists of 06 steps: identify problems; identify target groups and methodology; prepare for public participation; implement the public participation process; evaluate proposals and decisions of the council; implement the council’s decisions.
This project has linked the people and local government and improved the later’s accountability.
Representative of the Indonesian Civil Service Commission said that there is a huge number of legal documents which are overlaping, contradicting and have different explanation and different interpretations in Indonesia; this inconsistency, results in low performance.
Therefore, there is a need for public participation in policy making for effective policy implementation, especially in the development of legal documents to achieve national development goals, increase competition and attract investment.
The Indonesian government empowers its citizens to participate in the law-making process through listening to the people, respecting the role of researchers and policy analysts, conducting research and field survey …
In addition, the Indonesian Government also consulted the public online to increase transparency in law making. The law draft have been posted online for public comments and recommendations.
A representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs of Laos said that the Lao Government ensures public participation in policy and law making. The voice of the people plays a critical role in decision making and public participation is recognized.
The initiative for strengthening public participation is to collect the feedback of service users.
The Lao government measures public satisfaction and collect recommendations for better improvement of public services. The services measured are education, health, clean water supply, transport and justice …
The Lao government wants to reform the document system to increase the attractiveness and investment in the country; cut the red tape; provide a facilitating scheme for participation; help local authorities to identify the gap of services to meet the millennium development goals; strengthen coordination between agencies; collect data to make good policys to meet local and community needs.
Regarding the measurement of public satisfaction, Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Hang, Principal Expert, Department of Public Administration Reform, MOHA, said that one of the contents of the PAR Master Program 2011-2020 period is to improve the quality of public service delivery; ensure the satisfaction of individuals and organizations with the service of state administrative agencies to reach over 80% by 2020.
The Government of Vietnam has measured the satisfaction with the public administrative servicess (SIPAS) in order to objectively assess the quality of public administrative service delivery of the state administrative agencies. Based on the measurement, the state administrative agencies can understand the requirements and wishes of the people and organizations to take measures to improve service quality and provide their services to improve satisfaction and interests of people and organizations.
The satisfaction of people and organizations is measured in five key areas: access to public administrative services of the state administrative agencies; administrative procedures; work handling by civil servants; results of public administrative service provision; and receiving and dealing with comments, feedback and recommendations.
Within 3 years from 2017 to 2019, there were about 100,000 people in 63 provinces and cities, 384 districts and 1,152 communes participating in the survey. The annual SIPAS reports are designed in a common language that is understandable by all population groups. The satisfaction index (SIPAS) has increased gradually each year and reached over 80% so far.
In the period 2021-2030, Vietnam will focus more on online survey while conducting an offline survey because it is more representative and inclusive. Because not all citizens have the access to the internet, there will be a focus on some specific topics for survey online with involverment of certain different groups of citizens.
Representatives of the Public Service Commissions of Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Singapore affirmed that the Government needs to accompany the people in the process of making policies and laws, which brings high results in the country’s socio-economic development.