From 2016, all Vietnamese citizens will be given an identification (ID) number to identify themselves to Government agencies in any administrative transaction.

The number will provide basic personal records, about 20-25 categories of information including birth, marriage, divorce and residence.

This is part of a project to simplify administrative procedures, citizenship papers and databases related to population management during 2013-2020. It was approved by the Prime Minister on June 8.

According to the Justice Ministry, the granting of ID numbers would help to simplify at least 1,300 administration procedures which require citizens to fill out application forms, declarations or submit personal documents and notarised copies, thus help to save about 1.6 trillion VND (76.8 million USD) each year.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Le Hong Son said that from now to 2015, a digital national citizens’ database would be set up, combining basic information about members of the public.

“This promotes close cooperation among Government agencies and citizens in providing, collecting and verifying the information,” he said, adding that the task was difficult because Vietnam had the information on its 90 millions citizens scattered in different databases.

The project was expected to create fundamental innovation and breakthrough in the country’s administrative reform and saving money for society, for examples, expense for conducting census and operating duplicate information in different agencies, he said.

Son said the simplification of administrative procedures was part of Vietnam ’s administrative reforms which were launched in 2011. So far, more than 5,700 administrative procedures have been simplified.

Addressing a meeting on June 7, he said that furthering administrative reforms was crucial to improving Vietnam ’s investment environment and helping the nation overcome the current economic crisis. He said administrative procedures in Vietnam were costly and time-consuming, making the country less competitive than other countries in the region and discouraging foreign investors.

On average, 600,000 administrative transactions are done daily.-VNA