Vietnam’s rate of Internet usage is higher than the regional average and the Vietnamese Government has been pushing state agencies over the past 5 years to use IT applications to streamline administrative procedures, radio The Voice of Vietnam (VOV) reports.

For the past decade Da Nang city has provided online methods for carrying out administrative procedures related to land, construction, tax, social insurance, and public policy.

Of 63 provinces and cities nationwide Da Nang alone has set up a one-stop shop mechanism which allows local people to declare their personal information just once for multiple administrative procedures.

Pham Kim Son, Director of the Da Nang Department of Information and Communications, was quoted as saying: “IT applications require an IT infrastructure, manpower resources, policies, mechanisms, and investment in the field. All these factors can be easily achieved if the heads of agencies attach sufficient importance to IT applications. This is the prerequisite for successfully developing e-government.”

A government decree on IT applications in activities of state agencies was promulgated in April 2015 to improve the IT infrastructure for e-government development.

This decree targets higher quality and productivity, lower operating costs, and putting public service information online to make state activities more transparent and serve people better.

“Provincial leaders should be more determined to apply IT in combination with administrative reforms and socio-economic development. That will help officers and public servants acquire the habits and skills of IT applications and form a culture of information sharing,” said Director of the IT Department of the Ministry of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Phuc.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, over the next five years, Vietnam will focus on increasing the number of people using online public services and the percentages of personal files that are kept online.

At the recent Vietnam ICT Summit 2015 in Hanoi, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam underscored the government’s determination to speed up IT application in state agencies.

He noted that “one of the solutions we’ve discussed with the Ministry of Information and Communications is outlining compulsory regulations and a specific roadmap for supplying public services. The solution is based on the United Nations’ digital government ranking and needed public services. We should launch programmes similar to what we have done to improve the business environment. IT enterprises should proactively offer technical services rather than waiting for an invitation to bid.”

The programme to apply IT in state agencies is a breakthrough in Vietnam’s administrative reforms to modernize its public administrative sector. To improve the quality of administrative services, the Ministry of Information and Communications has submitted to the National Assembly a draft Law on Information Security which will create a legal basic and incentives for state agencies and enterprises to apply IT in their management and operation.-VNA