Remote work to drive digital transformation in HCM City hinh anh 1The HCM City Social Insurance Agency has allowed staff like The My and half of its employees to work from home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo:
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - About half of the staff at State agencies and units are being encouraged to work from home in the ongoing effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The municipal People's Committee on June 3 issued a directive allowing half of officials of State agencies to work from home during the peak period of the fight against COVID-19. The city’s departments, branches, and districts used information technology effectively to serve the public in the first week, according to evaluations.

The city said this was a great opportunity to enhance online public services, as well as promote digital transformation.

Tran Huynh The My, an expert from the city’s Social Insurance Agency, now works two days at home and three days at the office. For work at home, she logs into an online working system at 7:30am. She then joins a group to check attendance and receive new instructions from the manager or director. At 4pm, all officers send their reports to the agency for evaluation.

‘‘Remote work gives me a new working style, modern and open but self-disciplined,’’ My said.

Phan Van Men, Director of the city’s Social Insurance Agency, said the agency each day receives and processes around 25,000 documents, so civil servants work at an intense level.

Thanks to the use of information technology in the sector, however, they have worked effectively at home.

Nevertheless, civil servants who work in specific units such as drug addiction treatment centers and social protection facilities must be at their workplace, Le Minh Tan, Director of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, has said.

Nguyen Tri Dung, Chairman of the Go Vap District People’s Committee, said that when the district complied with the Government’s Directive 16 on strict social distancing for 15 days, officials and civil servants were told to work from home. However, all of them were assigned duties during social distancing to make sure that their work was completed.

Digital transformation

Doan Tran Hai Au, Chief of the Office of the People’s Council and  People’s Committee in district 6, said the city had set a goal to have over 70 percent and 40 percent of submitted files completed online in district and ward administrative offices, respectively.

‘‘The pandemic has affected all sectors in general, but this is also an opportunity for us to promote the use of information technology and find solutions to increase the rate of electronic submissions. In the current situation, handling and submitting electronic records are almost a must-do, because electronic documents are very convenient, and we save a lot of money,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the city’s Department of Information and Communications has issued guidance on the application of information technology during this period. Most State agencies have implemented duties well. If something goes wrong, the department sends staff to directly support the units.

Lam Dinh Thang, Director of the city’s Department of Information and Communications, said that its employees had been working from home since last year so they were familiar with the technology. Most of them use digital signatures to submit documents through document management software.

Nguyen Dang Phuong Truyen, a lecturer at the National Academy of Public Administration, said that remote work saves travel time, and reduces traffic congestion and transportation costs. He added that some government officials should be allowed to continue working from home after the pandemic ends.

Vu Anh Khoa, Chairman of the People’s Committee of district 10, however, said that working from home should only be done during this "unnerving time". In the long term, civil servants should work directly at their agencies so they can handle administrative procedures and take fact-finding trips./.