Launch of the Project "Strengthening the Provision and Exchange of Legislative Information among Agencies of the National Assembly of Vietnam”

Apr 7, 2013

Speaker: UNDP Country Director, Ms. Louise Chamberlain
Date:      Tuesday, 7 April
Event:     Launch of the Project “Strengthening the Provision and Exchange of Legislative Information among                 Agencies of the National Assembly of Vietnam”
Venue:    Ha Noi, Sofitel Plaza Hotel, Vietnam

Excellency, Mr. Đinh Xuân Thảo, President, Institute for Legislative Studies
Excellency, Mr. Lê Minh Thông, Vice Chairman of Committee on Law
Excellency, Mr. Nguyễn Văn Luật, Vice Chairman of Committee of Judiciary Affairs
Honorable members of the National Assembly
Colleagues from national organizations, UN and donor community,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be with you this morning to launch the project for “Strengthening the Provision and Exchange of Legislative Information among Agencies of the National Assembly of Vietnam”.  

Today’s launch takes place in the context of various reformative changes in the National Assembly’s operations to enhance the efficiency of its legislative, representation and oversight functions. According to the  Resolution on Some renovations to improve the efficiency of the operations of the National Assembly adopted in June 2012, full-time deputies of committees will hold more meeting sessions between National Assembly plenaries to review and discuss on bills; the interrogation/explanation sessions by the Ethnic Councils and National Assembly committees - including the Standing Committee – will be organised more often and further studied to be institutionalised as a more common practice.  More institutional changes are expected to be regularized next year with the revision of fundamental laws as a result of the amendment of the 1992 Constitution.

In connection with these reformative changes, a professional National Assembly support service system needs to be in place, comprised of professional staff, a set of standard parliamentary rules and orders and capacity to expand quality researches to committees, individual deputies as well as supporting staff.  To better meet the demands of a changing National Assembly, the supporting offices and organs of the National Assembly including the Institute for Legislative Studies (ILS), will require increased capacity for analysis and oversight of policies and laws, enhanced knowledge of international practices, norms and conventions, and sound data underpinned by a good information infrastructure and management.

UNDP and ILS have cooperated very fruitfully since the  establishment of ILS in 2008. As part of this cooperation, support was provided in reviewing the implementation of the 1992 Constitution as well as collecting opinions from the general public in the recent public consultation as well as from national and international constitutional experts on the draft Constitution Amendment. As a result, the ILS has established a website; an e-library and e-database for National Assembly deputies and researchers to improve access of MPs to legislative documents.  UNDP also supported the Office of the National Assembly to commission research on reforms of the ONA with a broader perspective of how to build a professional parliamentary support mechanism. The research lays out three specific options applicable to Vietnam’s context, for the NA to review and consider for changes in the parliamentary support services in 2014.

Ladies and Gentlemen

As a result of the ongoing developments in the constitutional and legal framework of Viet Nam, the coming years are critical for the development of an efficient and effective legislative information system of the NA.  To address these challenges, the ILS needs to further strengthen its capacity to provide legislative information.

This new 3 year project will support the ILS in two main areas. Firstly to respond to the requests from NA committees and deputies with regard to information provision and applicable high quality research. Secondly, to support NA deputies to develop and submit legislation initiatives and turn them into draft laws.  We will also support the ILS to develop a strategy to better meet the need of legislative information of the NA Committees and NA deputies.

In addition to supporting ILS in delivering its functions, our cooperation will also support the Committee on Law and Committee on Judiciary Affairs on the revision of a number of fundamental laws that need to be revised upon the release of the 1992 Constitution Amendment. The assistance for the Committee on Law will focus on the clarification of laws governing oversights activities of the National Assembly and People’s Councils, the organisations of central and local governments, and the promulgation of legal normative documents. Meanwhile, the support to the Committee on Judiciary Affairs is directed at the organisation of the legal system, including laws stipulating the organisation of People’s Courts, People’s Procuracies, criminal procedures matters as well as the work on judicial oversight issues.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we look forward to an ever more strengthened ILS at the end of the Project that can provide high-quality research and most updated information and knowledge of policy issues related to the amended constitution and revisions of key political laws to NA committees, deputies and supporting staff. A more efficient ILS with ensure MPs are better informed and able to make more informed decisions on issues that directly affect people’s lives, with a view to adopt policies and strategies that are more inclusive and equitable as Viet Nam continues its international integration.  
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Institute for Legislative Studies, the Committee on Law, Committee on Judiciary Affairs, the project team and UNDP colleagues for preparing today’s event.  We look very much forward to our continuing close collaboration moving forward.

Xin cảm ơn. Chúc các vị Đại Biểu Sức Khoẻ và Thành Đạt.