Ho Chi Minh City officials expect that responses from a survey this month on citizens' assessment of public services will help them identify problem areas that need to be corrected.

Although service quality has improved dramatically since 2006, when the first survey was conducted, more citizens are complaining about the quality of services today.

Conducted by the HCM City Institute for Development Studies and the city's Statistics Department, the survey in 2006 examined eight main public services, including rubbish collection, public transport, healthcare and the granting of land-use certificates, among others.

Public satisfaction has currently fallen, although most administrative agencies have applied the one-door policy to save time and cut down on paperwork.

For the first survey in 2006, the satisfaction rate was 60 percent, even though the conditions and means for smooth administrative procedures were poorer than today, according to experts.

The 2008 survey showed the rate of satisfaction falling below 60 percent.

Currently, all grass-root authorities have adopted the one-door policy and applied an ISO management standard in dealing with administration procedures.

Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) newspaper quoted Le Hoai Trung, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Home Affairs, as saying that some city government officials were increasing the amount of paperwork, adding to red tape.

Although services were more efficient, the official and unofficial expenses for services have doubled compared with past years, Trung said, adding that this year's survey would help them identify the problem areas and correct them.

Dao Thanh Tung, of Phu Nhuan District, said that the overload at notary offices had fallen sharply in recent years.

However, jostling among applicants still remained, and there were still many middlemen who co-operate with officials to offer faster services at administrative agencies.

Tung said he paid 1 million VND (48 USD) to have his documents certified in less than an hour.

This month the city will deploy a third survey to check public satisfaction on its services for further adjustment.

The investigation will be carried out on 100 of 317 wards and communes in the city's 24 districts.

About 4,350 families will be asked for their opinions on the eight public services.

The survey will cover healthcare, public transportation, granting of land-use right certificates and construction licenses.

Du Phuoc Tan, from the institute said survey results would help the institute offer suggestions to the city government to take measures to improve service quality step by step./.