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Friday, 27 July 2018 10:30
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A comment on the model of special administrative-economic unit in Vietnam

(LLCT) - At present, the model of special administrative-economic units is being piloted to create innovative and breakthrough administrative and economic mechanisms and policies, creating a motive force for boosting our national economy. In order to achieve the set objectives, it is necessary to thoroughly grasp the Party and State's viewpoints and orientations on the development of special administrative-economic units, thereby formulating organizational and institutional models and policies in line with reality.

In the new international context, in order to promote our international integration for national development, it is imperative to build the model of special administrative-economic units with breakthrough administrative and economic mechanisms and policies, international competitive capacity, thereby creating a new model of development motivation. As a possible way to make full use of Vietnam’s “geo-economic” advantage, this model will exert positive impact on various regions and throughout the country, thus enhancing our economic development.

In 2012, the Politburo agreed on the projects to develop special administrative-economic units in Van Don (Quang Ninh province), North Van Phong (Khanh Hoa province) and Phu Quoc (Kien Giang province). In the implementation of this policy, the local governments have actively developed and perfected the projects. The Prime Minister, the Government’s Party Personnel Bureau, and the Government have discussed and agreed to submit to the Politburo the projects on establishment of three special administrative and economic units, namely: Van Don in Quang Ninh province, Van Phong in Khanh Hoa province and Phu Quoc in Kien Giang province (Report No.10/TTr-BCSD dated 24 January 2017 of the Government’s Party Personnel Bureau on the Projects).

1. The views and orientations of the Party and State on the development of special administrative-economic units

Firstly, the development of special administrative and economic units has become a big and modern center of tourism, convalescence, technology, finance, commerce, entertainment and trade. Such center must come under the unified Party leadership and State management; ensure the harmony between national interests, and interests of both investors and local people; protect natural resources and environment; ensure national defense and security, maintaining independence and sovereignty.

Secondly, the development of special administrative and economic units must be included in the overall planning and development of each province, linking with regional and national development in relation to Southeast Asia, Asia and the world.

Thirdly, special administrative-economic units need to benefit from special legalized preferential and incentive policies for its international competitiveness. The management apparatus should be streamlined to become effective and efficient with open administrative procedures. A synchronous and modern infrastructure system needs to be built to attract investment, at first, from experienced investors competent in facilities and tourism services. Hi-tech sectors, industries, agriculture, forestry and fishery should be developed along the direction of sustainable development, without affecting the tourist environment; serving as a place for sightseeing, tourism and doing no harm to the landscape or natural environment of the locality. To step by step develop diversified forms of services, first and foremost those in the fields of finance, banking, insurance, health care, information, aviation, maritime, trade, fairs, import and export, housing, offices, conferences, cultural and art performances, gymnastics, sports, entertainment, tourism, ecology, international and regional convalescence.

Fourthly, the development of special administrative and economic units shall adopt mechanisms and policies to mobilize budget resources, targeted support from the central budget, ODA capital, foreign capital, or social investment capital to make the socio-economic infrastructure synchronous and modern to meet the requirements for developing special administrative and economic units. Special attention must be paid to the synchronous development of roads, airways, waterways, airports and international seaports, high-quality goods transportation and passenger transport), information and communication systems, electricity supply, water supply and drainage, houses and other public works in service of socio-economic development and national defense and security.

Fifthly, it should be well acknowledged that apart from advantages, there will be many difficulties, challenges and new issues which we are inexperienced in dealing with. The development of special administrative-economic units, accordingly, should be done with strong determination, close cooperation to ensure its feasibility and timely adjustment to suit the reality.

2. Comments on the principle and organizational structure of special administrative - economic units

a. Principles for organization of special administrative-economic units

Firstly,the principle of Party leadership, State management, and people mastership within the overall political system of the country must be taken into consideration.

Secondly, some of the titles should be institutionalized; Party agencies, administrations, the Fatherland Front and socio-political organizations having the same functions, tasks and powers should be merged to ensure the objective of building a streamlined and efficient apparatus.

Thirdly, the State management function and the public administrative service function should be better defined to establish a public administrative service center separated from the State management agency.

Fourthly,the administrative-economic unit, especially the administrative one belonging to the province, has “high self-governing power” (granted by some authorities under the authority of ministries, central agencies and provincial people’s committees - except for issues related to defense, security and foreign affairs).

b. On the Party organization

- The Party member group of special administrative-economic units is of higher level than a local Party member group. It is directly under the provincial Party member group (referred to as Special Administrative Region Party member group - the number of its members depends on the local reality). There is a Standing Party Committee of the Special Administrative Region. There are local Party member groups under the Special Administrative Region Party member group. The Secretary of the Special Administrative Region Party member group is also the Chairman of its People’s Committee. The Party Secretary of each ward is also the chairman of its People’s Committee.

- Party organizations in the specialized agencies in the special administrative-economic units: Party committees and Party cells under the Special Administrative Region Party member group should be set up.

- Party organizations in communes and townships can maintain their status quo or change and adapt themselves to suit the conditions of development of the special administrative-economic unit and under the Special Administrative Region Party member group. The status quo of the Party cells in hamlets and villages under the communal Party member group should be maintained or changed accordingly.

c. The Fatherland Front and mass organizations

Those organizations should be reorganized in the direction of sharing the advisory arm of the Fatherland Front with socio-political mass organizations (Trade Union, Youth Union, Women’s Union, War Veterans’ Association, Farmer’s Union) and take the name of the Fatherland Front and mass organizations; some leaders of member organizations should be titled as vice chairmen of the Fatherland Front.

d. The government apparatus

The administration of the special administrative-economic unit (also known as the Special Administrative Region) is organized according to the administrative model of two-level urban administration, called the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region, which does not organize people’s council. Below the Special Administrative Region, specialized agencies and civil service units should be organized. The head of the Special Administrative Region is also Chairman of the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region who is appointed by the Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee after the notice of the provincial Party Standing Committee; Vice chairmen of the People’s Committees of the Special Administrative Region shall be introduced and appointed by the Chairman of the People’s Committee after being introduced by the provincial Party member group and approved by the provincial Party Standing Committee.

The organizational structure of the Special Administrative Region should be simple and efficient, streamlined, of multi-sector management and multi-field; it should merge a number of Party supporting agencies with government specialized agencies in the direction of harmonizing the Party leadership with the State management function of the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region.

The Executive Committee of the Special Administrative Region: The People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region shall have a number of members that are suitable to the practical conditions of each region, including the Chairman, Vice Chairmen and members.

Advisory and supportive agencies to the People’s Committees of Special Administrative Region include: the Office; Human Resources Organization and Management Committee; General Economics Committee; Infrastructure Development Committee; Committee of Natural Resources and Environment; Committee of Social Policy; Inspection - Disciplinary Committee; Committee of Ideology - Communication - Advocacy; Center for Public Administration Services; and Investment Promotion Center.  

- Functions, tasks and authorities of the People’s Committees of the Special Administrative Region

Functions: To organize and implement the task of socio-economic development, security and national defense, foreign affairs, State management in the Special Administrative Region; to provide public administrative services and other services in the Special Administrative Region for the people and enterprises.

Tasks and authorities: Apart from the general tasks and authorities prescribed in the Local Government Organization Law, the law on special administrative-economic units must also be formulated and promulgated. The Special Administrative Region shall have the following tasks and powers:

To perform a number of tasks assigned or delegated by the Government and the Prime Minister according to regulations;

To decide on the establishment, organization and arrangement of the administrative management agencies, recruitment of personnel to the apparatus, modern public service regimes, administrative reforms, reduction of administrative procedures;

To issue specific regulations for administrative and economic management in the Special Administrative Region according to the high level of international integration;

To decide on the number of regular employees in the apparatus towards streamlining, paying the minimum wage higher than the general regulations depending on the budget capacity of the locality;

To sign contracts with all public employees, except for some elected or appointed positions on the basis of the contractual wages.

- Functions and tasks of specialized agencies

The Office(merger of the Office of District People’s Committee, Office of District Party Committee): Having the functions of advising, ensuring the facilities to serve the leadership and administration of the Party Committee, the People’s Committee and leaders of the Special Administrative Region; advising on external affairs, archives; coordinating with other agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, duties and authorities.

Human resources Organization and Management Committee (merger of the Department of Home Affairs, District Organization Board of the Party Committee, part of Department of Labor - Invalids and Social Affairs, Department  of Justice): Having the functions of advising on personnel organization, staff, human resource development, administrative reform, government building, administrative boundaries, civil servants and public servants; labor - employment, salary, business management; emulation and reward, and legal work; management of Party organizations and members; defending internal politics; coordinating with other agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

The General Economics Committee(merger of the Department of Finance and Planning, the Economics Department, the Investment Department): Having the function of advising and organizing the implementation of policies and State management in the fields of industry, import-export, tourism-services, agriculture, forestry and fishery; planning, planning, investment, finance, property, business management, business registration, science and technology; coordinating with the agencies in the special zone to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Infrastructure Development Committee(covering the tasks of the Urban Management Department, the Construction Department and units involved in capital construction): Having the function of advising, organizing the implementation and State management of transportation, construction, urban management, architecture - planning, housing and office, construction materials, technical infrastructure, urban infrastructure...; coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Committee of Natural Resources and Environment(the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Office of Land and Property Registration): Having the function of advising, organizing and executing State management in the fields of land and natural resources. water, mineral resources, land clearance, issuance of land use right certificates, land recovery, monitoring, environment, meteorology, hydrology, geodesy, maps and islands; coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Committee of Social Policy(merger of Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Culture and Information, Department of Education and Training): Having the function of advising and organizing the implementation of policies and State management in the fields of education and training; culture, family, children, physical education - sports, health; social issues and social security, war invalids and people with merit; coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Inspection - Disciplinary Action Committee (merger of District Inspectorate, Inspection Committee): Having the function of advising, organizing and executing State management on inspection, examination, supervision and claims solution; settling complaints, denunciations and discipline of the party; anti-corruption, negative, wastefulness; Coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Committee of Ideology - Communication - Advocacy(merger of the Communication and Education Department, Public Affairs Committee, Ethnic Division and part of the Department of Culture and Information): Having the function of advising, organizing and executing State management on education of ideology, mobilization, unity of all classes and the masses; information, communication and religion; coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Center for Public Administration Services:Being the only one-door organization that accepts applications, solves administrative procedures, and returns results to organizations, businesses and citizens to deal with the administration; coordinating with agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

Investment Promotion Center: Having the function of advising, organizing and executing State management on investment promotion, trade promotion and tourism, supporting enterprises, branding and market expansion; undertaking investment advisory and business support activities; coordinating with the agencies in the Special Administrative Region to perform the assigned functions, tasks and authorities.

- Civil service units

The civil service units under district People’s Committee should be transferred to the People’s Committees of the Special Administrative Region. The existing civil services units under specialized departments should be transferred to specialized committees under the Special Administrative Region.

- The relationship between the Special Administrative Region People’s Committee, the Province, and the Central Government.

Apart from the delegated and authorized tasks, the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region shall be the executive agency of the Government, ministries, central sectors and provincial People’s Committee.

The relationship between the provincial administrative agency (department, sector, city, district, town) with the authority of the Special Administrative Region is the coordinating relationship according to area and territory.

The specialized agencies of the Special Administrative Region are subject to professional examination and guidance of the higher level agencies (provincial departments, sectors) and to the management and administration of the head of the administrative agency of the Special Administrative Region.

However, a clear working mechanism and high self-responsibility of the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region is needed to avoid waste of time in application for permits, procedures, and directions.

- Mechanism of supervision and inspection of provincial authority and Special Administrative Region Party Committee with Special Administrative Region People’s Committee

It is imperative to enhance the role of the Provincial People’s Council delegation to the Special Administrative Region.

The Provincial People’s Council delegation to the Special Administrative Region should be reorganized to well perform the functions and tasks of supervising the implementation of the tasks of the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region in circumstances where the People’s Council is not organized:

The delegation of the provincial People’s Council is the organization representative of the people in the Special Administrative Region in the provincial People’s Council, representing their will, aspirations and mastership.

It is necessary to recommend the Provincial People’s Council to decide guidelines and measures to implement policies and laws in the fields of security, national defense, diplomacy... according to the authority of the Provincial People’s Council in the Special Administrative Region.

Organizational structure: the number of delegates should be increased from 3 to 5 delegates; the delegates should work full time at the Representative Office in the Special Administrative Region. The delegation consists of the head (who may decide the vice heads) and the member delegates. The head is elected by the delegation.

The inspection and supervision of the Provincial Party Committee and Special Administrative Region Party Committee should be strengthened.

e. Organization of the Special Administrative Region’s subordinate apparatus

- Ward-level People’s Councils (now commune or township) should not be organized; the ward administrative agency should be the People’s Committee.

- The position, functions, tasks and competence of the Ward’s People’s Committee:

+ The Ward ‘s People’s Committee is an administrative level directly under the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region, including one Party Secretary and Chairman of the People’s Committee, one Deputy Secretary and two Vice Chairmen, and professional officials and employees.

+ The chairman and vice chairmen of the Ward’s People’s Committee shall be introduced by the ward Party Committee and Chairman of the ward People’s Committee; the Chairperson of the People’s Committee of the Special Administrative Region decides on the appointment.

The functions, tasks and authorities of the Ward People’s Committee shall remain the same as current regulations.

g. Other specialized agencies

Military, Public Security, Court, Procurator, Tax, Treasury, Customs, Statistics, and Social Insurance agencies should be organized in line with the new model.

 

MA. Dinh Thanh Tung

Inspection Commission

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

 

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