HCM City Pledges nearly $50,000 to Reform Public Sector

Sep 9, 2003

Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh City and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) signed today a cost-sharing agreement of $48,000 to finance the city’s ongoing Public Administration Reform (PAR) programme.

This money will be added to the programme’s budget of $500,000 made available by UNDP out of $1,800,000 which is required to successfully implement the City's five-year PAR Programme (2001-2005). “This contribution, though modest, would mark a milestone in the way development is financed in Viet Nam,” said Mr. Jordan Ryan, UNDP Resident Representative. “Together with the Government’s contribution of $100,000 announced last week to support the Legal System Development Strategy, this cost-sharing agreement paves the way to exploit new sources of funding for development, especially in the area of governance reform,” he added.

Mr. Ryan also called for a new spirit of partnership whereas Viet Nam needs to rally its domestic resources including from private investment and to attract additional external resources, in an enabling environment. Mr. Ryan hailed the city’s PAR project as “the most successful among the PAR projects in Viet Nam”. He hoped that HCM City continue to be a laboratory for local PAR initiatives, which would be replicated in other districts of the City as well as other localities.

Contributing more than 30% of Viet Nam’s GDP, the nation’s economic powerhouse has been formally pursuing administrative reform for several years and has won international recognition for this. Last year, HCMC District 1 became the first administrative agency in the country ever awarded the ISO 9002 quality management rating.

To further enhance transparency, HCMC is making more accessible and efficient key administrative procedures of government, including fee structure and license handling time. More than half of the 7,300 normative documents promulgated by the City Government have been cut. The number of specialised agencies has been reduced from 25 in 1994 to 19. And the number of people working at district level has dropped from an average of 140 to 93 per district. One-stamp offices now operate and surveys suggest that staff are better trained with higher morale and provide better service to their clients.

Streamlined decision-making and standardised explicit rules and regulations about the way procedures are applied also help eliminate time lags and unnecessary red tape, and decrease the possibility of corruption.

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