Information technology and a high literacy rate were the keys to developing e-government, said Le Thanh Tam, CEO of IDG ASEAN at the 10th Vietnam e-government symposium in the capital on July 20.

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is head of the National Steering Committee on Information and Communication Technology, asked relevant bodies to develop a common database from provincial to central levels to serve the State administration. He said this would provide the public with better and more comprehensive information.

Nhan also asked them to develop e-government infrastructure for a national standard database to help the nation enter a new stage in 2013, as requested by the Prime Minister.

Nguyen Bac Son, Minister for Information and Communications, said this year marked rapid development and application of e-government and the use of IT in public administration.

According to an IDG report, 96.6 percent of government bodies and 100 percent of cities now have their own websites. Meanwhile, the Government has built a detailed action plan and set up national targets for building e-government.

It aims to build the technical infrastructure for applying information technology in the operations of government bodies – and building a national information system for both people and enterprises.

Tam from IDG ASEAN said Vietnam was now rated 83rd in IT competency in the world from 105th in 2005. It was also in fourth position in the ASEAN region after Singapore , Malaysia and Brunei .

Dinh Duy Hoa, Director of Department of Public Administration Reform, Ministry of Home Affairs said that inspite of improvements, the Vietnamese administrative system lagged behind other regional countries and felt short of the expectation of the people and businesses.

Huynh Thanh Dien, deputy chairman of the Nghe An People's Committee, told participants problems remained in the IT application of e-government in his central province. He said the awareness of State employees and leaders was poor.

Dien said e-government was needed to effectively carry out work in many fields. He said this required the Government to outline a specific plan as well as developing a database and software for common use.-VNA