Donors inject $5.5M to Streamline Public Administration
Ha Noi - Minister of Home Affairs Do Quang Trung and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Jordan Ryan, signed today a $5.5 million project to support the Government’s Public Administration Reform Master Programme 2001-2010.
This 4-year project is an essential step towards implementing the PAR Master Programme, the first ever comprehensive PAR National Strategy, approved by the Prime Minister Phan Van Khai on 17 of September 2001. This ambitious ten-year program is the key strategic document that will guide the Government of Viet Nam and its partners during the ongoing renovation of the nation’s public sector.
“Our first – and very important – achievement is the wide consensus among different agencies on this project. This initiative also reflects the Government’s determination to materialise its commitment to streamline the public administration”, said Mr. Do Quang Trung.
This support will focus on assisting the four key Government agencies - the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Office of the Government, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance – in developing a coordination mechanism for the Master Programme, which is widely regarded as an essential prerequisite for its success.
The project has attracted support from a number of donors keen to play a vital role in assisting the Government to reform public administration. Linking with the UNDP, the Governments of Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are committed to working in partnership in this sector and within this project. These donors, all members of the Like-Minded Group of Donors, have a record of timely and coordinated support for the public administration reform process and will use this new project as an innovative way to provide support for public administration reform.
Mr Ryan stressed the importance of the new project: “The formulation and launch of this project demonstrates how Government ministries, UNDP and donors can work together in partnership toward a common reform goal. And that reform goal is to help Viet Nam achieve the Millennium Development Goals and promote sustainable development throughout Viet Nam”.
“The success of other reform programmes will depend very much on progress made in PAR” emphasied a representative of the Like-Minded Group of Donors, Mr. Walter Meyer, Coordinator of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for the Mekong Region.
Mr Ryan said: “The challenge of Public Administration Reform can appear overwhelming at times, but action is needed as PAR underpins all other reforms and lies at the centre of each development initiative in Viet Nam”. He noted:”Much can and will be achieved through perseverance, clear strategic planning, good co-ordination and partnership building".
Mr. Ryan said UNDP is delighted to offer assistance to the Government in managing, co-ordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Master programme and to widely disseminate the proposed reforms.
Mr. Ryan also urged the Government to build on the lessons learned from ongoing PAR projects, by immediately implementing certain key reform measures, such as the replication of the "one-stop shop", wider dissemination of the Grassroots Democracy decree 29, and continued implementation of the Enterprise Law, especially at the provincial level.
Mr. Walter Meyer agreed that the implementation of PAR should be decentralised, so that the local level can also take onwnership of important aspects of the process.
The Master Programme of PAR has set its overall objective for developing a “democratic, clean, professional, efficient and effective administrative system" within the period from 2001- 2010.
PAR has been brought at the top of the Government agenda, particularly after the 9th Party Congress. UNDP has been working together with the Government since 1993 in undertaking public administration reform. The first project of the Government with support from UNDP - Public Administration Reform, VIE/92/002 - became the framework for facilitating technical assistance in this area from other development partners.
So far a number of PAR projects have been undertaken by many other donors, some with significant achievements, at different levels of the government. Viet Nam is expected to enter into a major new loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank which is another key partner in the donor community working on PAR.