According to citizens, improving the quality of human resources in the public sector is crucial

Oct 19, 2010

Ha Noi – Results of a survey by VietNamNet and UNDP, released today, show that in order to increase the satisfaction with public administrative procedures three areas in particular need to be improved. These are: (i) completing procedures within the stated deadline; (ii) improving the competence and attitude of civil servants; and (iii) providing clear information about the procedures. Almost 1,500 people took part in the online survey, which asked citizens about their experience of dealing with the public administration system as well as their recommendations for the next decade of public administration reform.

From our point of view, we are impressed with the number of people who took part in the survey. The respondents come from all provinces in the country, with over half of them from rural provinces,” says Mr. Pham Anh Tuan, VietNamNet Deputy Editor-in-Chief.

We hope that the findings from this independent survey will contribute to the on-going efforts by government agencies to formulate the next phase of public administration reform. It is our hope that government agencies will take into consideration the opinions and recommendations made by citizens, seeing them as valuable inputs for the new master programme. This can help produce real change in the public administration apparatus and benefit citizens. We expect that the feedback from citizens and the media will be well-received by the drafting agencies,” Pham Anh Tuan comments.

According to the survey results, procedures relating to marriage, birth certificates and ID card application are seen as some of the friendliest. This can be seen as an indication of the progress made in simplifying these procedures and making them more available to citizens. On the other hand, more complicated procedures related to land use rights are highlighted by 45% of respondents as the most annoying procedure.

In addition, survey results indicate that a large majority of users still believe administrative procedures require too much paperwork (67% of respondents) and that connections are important to get procedures done (73% of respondents). Half of respondents believe civil servants are not competent enough.
From the survey results it is also clear that “extra payments” have become routine in public administrative services. Nearly 7 out of 10 respondents said they have had to pay extra in order to get a public administrative procedure done. This increases the cost of these services for citizens and works like a regressive tax,” says Jairo Acuña-Alfaro, UNDP policy advisor on public administration reform and anti-corruption and part of the survey team.

Analysis of the survey data shows that in order to increase the satisfaction of citizens in dealing with the public administrative system in general and administrative procedures in particular, it is useful to improve efforts in three key areas. A one percentage increase in completing procedures within the stated deadlines, improving the competence and attitude of civil servants and providing clear information about the procedures, will increase the satisfaction of users by 28%, 23% and 18% respectively.
Findings from the survey also suggest that simplifying administrative procedures to make them more transparent and user-friendly and improving the quality of the service civil servants provide are among the two priorities citizens expect to see in the next phase of public administration reform. Citizens also expect to be more engaged in uncovering and denunciating unethical behaviours of civil servants and that information technology is better used to provide administrative services.

These kinds of surveys are extremely important as they allow citizens, as the end users of public administrative services, to voice their experiences and make recommendations. We have been very encouraged by the high number of responses and the detailed comments we received. This suggests that public administration is an issue which touches on the life of all citizens. We hope that the information will prove helpful to policy-makers and the Government as the public administration reform master programme for 2011-2020 is being formulated,” concludes Jairo Acuña-Alfaro.

Click here to read media coverage of the survey and its results