Vietnam still facing challenges in developing online public services

On the way to implement Project 06 about ‘Developing an Application for Population Database, Digital Identification and Authentication for the National Digital Transformation from 2022-2025, with a Vision to 2030’, there are obstacles to overcome.
A police officer is instructing a citizen to carry out an online public service (Photo: SGGP)

A police officer is instructing a citizen to carry out an online public service (Photo: SGGP)

Project 06 is considered the key to deciding the success of the national digital transformation process, to help simplify administrative procedures via shared databases, and to improve the quality of 53 essential online public services.

Statistics from the Ministry of Information and Communications show that in the first 6 months this year, 3.6 million new accounts in the National Public Service e-Portal were created, making a total of 7.7 million. There were over 6.8 million online-payment transactions with an amount of more than VND2.4 trillion (US$100 million). This is an increase of 3 times compared to this time last year.

The handling of administrative procedures in certain localities has seen significant improvements. For instance, in June 2023, Quang Ninh Province delivered permits for two projects with a total investment of nearly US$250 million in only 12 business hours. This is a reduction of 14 working days compared to the usual time.

However, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has lately stressed that the quality of online public services as being simple, convenient, quick, safe, and secure is still rather low because the integration and sharing functions among national databases are not as expected.

Therefore, the Prime Minister asked that any public services related to daily operations of citizens and manufacturing activities of businesses must be prioritized. The development of necessary platforms and national databases as well as cyber security, information safety must also be a focus.

Director of the Tay Ninh Province Department of Information and Communications Nguyen Tan Duc admitted that there are still problems in the operation of public service e-portals, such as limited features, uncompleted functions, unintegrated and inconsistent data. These obstacles have prevented the community and businesses from accessing and using those valuable data.

Most province-level, ministry-level public services are still not user-friendly except essential nation-scale ones like tax procedures, passport and citizen ID card issuance, driver’s license change, customs declaration.

The Government has asked that by 2025, 20-25 percent of unnecessary administrative procedures will have been eliminated. This is a huge challenge.

Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung has recently requested an identification of the real proportion of current online public services. No matter how low this percentage is, it must become a motive force for a better result in the future so that citizens and businesses will find it easier to access and use online public services, which are more convenient and money-saving.

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