The National Assembly Office and the Danish Parliament Office jointly organised a conference in Hue city, in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, focusing on how to optimise the efficiency of local government structures.

The event, running from August 25-26, was part of a public participation and accountability project under the Good Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme Phase II (GOPA II), funded by the Danish Government during the 2012-2015 period.

According to NA Office Chairman Nguyen Hanh Phuc, in previous decades the organisation of local government was not addressed in detail, that is, until the 13th National Assembly passed the revised Constitution on November 28, 2013.

The 2013 Constitution promulgates new regulations for local government that reflect the specific characteristics of not only rural, urban and island areas, but also of special administrative-economic units, whilst allocating power and jobs to government at all levels, he said.

The Government plans to submit a draft Local Government Organisation Law to the NA at its eighth session in October, with hopes of the law being approved in the ninth NA assembly session in May 2015, said Phuc, adding that he would like to see conference participants contribute actively to the law.

Opinions raised during the event focused on the organisation and operational modes of local government, the institutional arrangements of the People’s Council and People’s Committee, as well as the relationship between central and local governments, and decentralisation.

Associate Prof. Nguyen Cuu Viet at the Ho Chi Minh City Law University said the Law on Local Government Organisation should allow for a diversity of models of local government, thus enhancing their operational efficiency.

He proposed empowering localities to determine their own administration model based on their local characteristics, in accordance with the 2013 Constitution.

Meanwhile, Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong, Vice Director of the Institute of Legal Science under the Ministry of Justice said the allocation of power across government at all levels should go hand in hand with close supervision and inspections conducted by the central government in order to safeguard a smooth implementation of state power.

Experts on local government from Denmark and the Republic of Korea also shared practical experiences seen in their respective countries.-VNA