In early March, the People's Committee of District 6 in HCM City put into use the first automatic administrative document receipt and return machine, dubbed administrative ATM, in Vietnam.
After several months, local people have become proficient in using this administrative ATM to submit and receive administrative documents.
Mr. Nguyen Kim Tu uses the administrative ATM in District 6. Photo: Thanh Tung
Mr. Nguyen Kim Tu, a resident in Ward 11, District 6, said the machine helps him to apply administrative documents and receive results very quickly. When the ATM was not available, people went to the District People's Committee to draw numbers and wait their turn to submit their documents or receive the results. In many cases, their documents were not sufficient, so it took people a lot of time to prepare documents and go back and forth between their home and the administrative office.
“Now, thanks to this administrative ATM, people can submit administrative documents at any time, even outside of working hours. The machine also provides full instructions on how to prepare documents, so we do not have to visit administrative agencies as many times as before," Tu said.
Nguyen Thi Bich Thu uses the administrative ATM in District 6. Photo: Thanh Tung
Ms. Nhu Thi Bich Thu, who had just submitted application and received an appointment to receive documents from the ATM, said that the operation of the machine was surprisingly simple and fast. It took her about 4-5 minutes.
“In the past, I had to submit the application during working time, but now I can submit documents in the morning, noon or evening and receive the results at any time. This is convenient for people," said Thu.
Vice Chairman of District 6 People's Committee Vuong Thanh Lieu said the ATM only offers simple procedures for people, such as submitting application for registration of household business establishment, re-certification of business household registration, re-issuance of construction permits and eight administrative procedures at level three without charge - terminating business households, granting permits to dig sidewalks, granting temporary permits to use sidewalks, and appraising existing house drawings.
Vice Chairwoman of District 6 People's Committee Vuong Thanh Lieu. Photo: Thanh Tung
Currently, the number of administrative procedures to be resolved in District 6 is up to 176 procedures of all kinds, and the ATM is unable to deal with all of them. Therefore, District 6 authorities will continue to monitor and handle defects as well as gradually improve this ATM to better serve the people. District 6 will deploy a system of administrative ATMs throughout the whole district after the initial stage of preliminary review and evaluation.
Preparing administrative documents without pen and paper
About 5 km from the place where the administrative ATM of District 6 is located is the People's Committee of District 1, which recently launched an "electronic customer identification" service to support people and businesses to register for paperless administrative procedures.
This model digitizes public administrative services by applying artificial intelligence (AI), with a face identification solution. When registering for online administrative procedures, people take a photo of both sides of their ID card and send it to the system. It will automatically recognize and fill in the available form, with accuracy of up to 99%.
Mr. Pham Bich Tiu uses the electronic customer identification system at the People's Committee of District 1. Photo: Thanh Tung
After experiencing the service, Mr. Pham Bich Tiu - a resident of District 1 - said it was modern and convenient, helping people save time compared to procedures with paper and pen.
District 1 has received registrations to handle "paperless" administrative procedures in six areas, deployed online public services for 44 administrative procedures at district level and 25 administrative procedures at ward level, and conducted data integration with the data interconnection axis of HCM City.
"Thanks to these improvements, the percentage of people using online public services at levels 3 and 4 has increased dramatically and reached 99.99% in 2020," District 1 Chairman Nguyen Van Dung said.
With this model, District 1 aims to reduce direct interaction between civil servants and people and businesses, while the settlement of procedures will be faster and more accurate.
People in District 1 submit documents on the electronic customer identification system. Photo: Thanh Tung
For people using this service, their information will be saved for the next time.
Ms. Vo Thi Trung Trinh, Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Information and Communications, said the administrative ATM model in District 6 and the electronic customer identification model are both an attempt to change the product supply process, and better serve people and businesses with the support of technology.
The use of these models helps the government have an additional channel to handle administrative procedures between the people and the government, thereby performing public administrative services online, reducing the waiting time of people and businesses, and contributing to increased labor productivity.
Initiatives to deal with administrative procedures of departments and districts will be replicated in other localities.
Chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong discussed with the media the city's digital transformation program. Photo: Thanh Tung
“At the district and departmental levels, these models are an alternative form of providing public products and services, better serving people and businesses. But at the city level, promoting digital transformation will replace institutions and policies, and then people and businesses have to campaign for that change," said Ms. Trinh.
Digital transformation for growth goals
With the digital transformation process, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said that the city has set a target that by 2025 the digital economy will account for 20% - 25% of the city's GRDP.
“The inclusion of the digital transformation program in the documents of the HCM City Party Congress shows the city's strong determination in implementing digital transformation. This is an inevitable trend of the world, and if it is not implemented, we will fall behind," Phong said.
According to Phong, after the Prime Minister approved the National Digital Transformation Program to 2025 with a vision to 2030, Ho Chi Minh City announced its Digital Transformation Program and Integrated Platform and Data Sharing.
Thu Duc City, which will pioneer the construction of a smart city, is accelerating the digital transformation of HCM City. Photo: Thanh Tung
"Ho Chi Minh City is the first locality in the country to announce a digital transformation program," Mr. Phong said.
Under this program, by 2030 HCM City will become a smart city with comprehensive innovation in the operation of the digital government apparatus and digital businesses, and have the prosperity and civilization of a digital society.
“Ho Chi Minh City is always aware that, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has a comprehensive impact on all aspects of socio-economic life, digital transformation is an opportunity to turn risks into opportunities. Therefore, it is required that the city must make more efforts to make the digital transformation program an important factor in realizing the dual goal," said Phong.
“Thu Duc City was recently established on the basis of building a highly interactive creative zone in the Eastern part of HCM City. This is the pioneer model of building a smart city, to promote faster digital transformation and to obtain the goal that digital transformation will contribute 25% of the city's GRDP by 2025," Phong said.
Reforming the state administrative apparatus is a national policy which has been noted in resolutions of all eight national congresses of the Communist Party of Vietnam during the 35 years of Doi Moi (reform).
Vietnamese people and businesses are still struggling with administrative procedures and are being held back by an unstable business environment.