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Thursday, 29 November 2018 11:37
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Implementation of the “personnel strategy of the party in the period of boosting national industrialization and modernization”

(LLCT) - After 20 years of implementing the Resolution No. 03-NQ/TW dated 18 June 1997 of the 3rd Plenum of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure) on “Personnel strategy in the period of boosting national industrialization and modernization”, there have been a lot of weaknesses and defects in the pool of personnel and personnel work of the Party, yet they have been overcome slowly. It is even more serious in some aspects, undermining the prestige of the Party and the trust of the people in the regime. Therefore, there should be a new, modern mechanism and policies, quantitative measures, and a close controlling mechanism of the Party, the State, and the people.

In Vietnam, the personnel issues are currently becoming hot and urgent like former President Truong Tan Sang put it: “If corruption and degradation are not eliminated, where will this Party, this regime, and this country be heading?”(1). As such, acquiring personnel is vital to the Party organization and Vietnam today.

In fact, the Communist Party of Vietnam has specified that personnel are the decisive factor in the success or failure of the revolution, which is associated with the destiny of the Party, the country, and the regime as well as the key in the work of Party building(2), and the Party has paid particular attention to the personnel work since its establishment. Thanks to that, the Party has overcome many difficulties and challenges to lead the people to successive victories. To achieve those successes, the Party has wisely selected qualified, kind-hearted, and competent personnel to guide the Vietnamese revolution to victory.

The 3rd Plenum of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure) issued Resolution No. 03-NQ/TW dated 18 June, 1997, on “Personnel atrategy in the period of boosting national industrialization and modernization” (Resolution No. 3). This is a rather comprehensive resolution on personnel work. The Resolution points out the strengths and weaknesses of the personnel and personnel work, the reasons, and five lessons for personnel work. In particular, the Resolution outlines five views on building personnel and setting out the standards for personnel in the new situation, including:

“General standards:

- Having profound patriotism, serving the people devotedly, being steadfast in the goal of national independence and socialism, striving to successfully implement the guidelines of the Party, the policies and law of the State.

- Being industrious, thrifty, honest, righteous, and public-spirited and selfless. Being not corrupted and fighting corruption resolutely. Having a good sense of discipline. Being honest, generous, and close to the people. Being trusted by the people.

- Having a good knowledge of political theory, viewpoints and guidelines of the Party, policies and law of the State, being well literate, specialized, capable and healthy enough to work effectively and meet the requirements of the assigned tasks.

These standards are closely related and give high regard to morality and talent, of which morality is the root.

Apart from the above general criteria, the leaders of the Party, State and people’s mass organizations must also:

- Have a firm political stance based on the working-class position and absolute loyalty to the revolutionary ideals, Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought; be capable of forecasting and orienting the development, summing up the reality, participating in building guidelines, policies and laws, persuading and organizing people’s implementation; be aware and able to struggle so as to protect the viewpoints and guidelines of the Party, policies and law of the State.

- Be a good example of morality and lifestyle, have a democratic and scientific manner, able to rally the public and unite the staff.

- Have good knowledge of leading and managing science; study at the schools of the Party, the State and people’s mass organizations; go through effective practical activities.

Leaders of the armed forces must also:

- Be absolutely loyal to the nation, the Party and the people; be ready to sacrifice to protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country; protect the Party and the socialist regime.

- Have high revolutionary spirit and a high sense of discipline; keep military and national secrets.

- Understand well and have the ability to make creative use of the views of Marxism - Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, the guidelines of the Party and development of the national defense and people’s security; grasp the basic issue of socio-economic management.

The scientific staff and experts must also:

- Have independent and creative thinking, a sense of cooperation, passion in research and the application of science and technology.

- Follow social life closely; be capable of summing up practice.

- The leading experts must be able to gather and train the scientific staff.

Business managers must also:

- Have deep understanding of the economic views of the Party; have good quality and morality, being industrious, thrifty, honest, righteous; make no use of power to embezzle, waste, or for luxury.

- Have knowledge of the market economy and corporate governance, understanding science, technology, law and international practice.

- Be able to organize business with socio-economic efficiency.

Sectors at all levels, based on the above-mentioned standards, must formulate specific standards for all types of staff, civil servants”(3).

Beside the regulation on requirements, Resolution No. 03 clearly states: “Personnel planning is an essential part of personnel work”; it is important to ensure that personnel work is right, active, and has a long vision to be in accordance with the short and long-term mission. The Resolution indicates that from the political mission and organizational mission, it is necessary to evaluate the reality of the existing personnel, civil servants and estimate the demand and possibility of development of the personnel and civil servants to actively provide options for training and cultivation. The Resolution also specifies four basic contents of the training and cultivation for personnel: designing training and cultivation plans for each type of personnel, content for training and cultivating personnel, methods of training and cultivation, and consolidation of the training and cultivation system for personnel. The Resolution also sets out steps of the procedure for personnel work, including those for: 1) personnel evaluation, 2) personnel selection, 3) voting, 4) appointment and dismissal of personnel, 5) personnel rotation, 6) learning regulations, 7) people’s participation in building and supervising the personnel, 8) inspection regulations, 9) internal political protection; 10) assignment and devolution of personnel management.

To implement the personnel work successfully, Resolution No. 3 also emphasizes the contents of “renovating and improving the policy system for personnel” such as 1) policy for training and fostering personnel, 2) policy for using and managing personnel, 3) policy for ensuring material benefit and moral encouragement, “renovating and reorganizing personnel apparatus”, setting out the tasks of personnel work since promulgation of the Resolution by the 9th National Party Congress, such as reviewing, arranging, adding and using the personnel, actively preparing the personnel for the National Congress of the Party at all levels and consolidating State agencies, building and promulgating some statutes on personnel work, renovating the policies of salary and accommodation, implementing seriously self-criticism and criticism, pursuing the struggle against bureaucracy and corruption, and promoting the development and implementation of personnel planning.

With the above-mentioned contents, it can be said that Resolution No. 03 explores rather comprehensively and fully personnel and personnel work. Over the past 20 years, the personnel work has had positive changes, making significant contribution to promoting the leadership of the Party in the new situation.

However, if the weaknesses and shortcomings in personnel and personnel work figured out in Resolution No. 3 are frankly assessed and recognized, there have been pending points; some have been even more serious. Resolution No. 03 states: “Some cadres show fluctuation, have less belief, are vaguely aware of Marxism - Leninism and socialism and skeptical of the policy lines of the Party; some betray the Party and people’s benefit because of their own discontent; some are corrupt in morality and lifestyle who abuse power for corruption, smuggling, illegal enrichment, and waste of public property; moreover, they are bureaucratic, interested in abusing the people, patriarchally-minded, arbitrary, ambitious, partial, envious of position, opportunistic, lowly disciplined; their speech and working manner are uncontrollable, which may cause serious disunity; notably, these negative practices tend to be increasing, eroding the revolutionary nature of the staff and undermining the prestige of the Party and trust of the people in the regime. Many leaders with low fighting spirit do not seriously criticize themselves and receive criticism. There remains indulgence, evasion, untruthful talks, and fake concord. Despite the fact that our staff is large, there exist differences, redundancies and shortages. The levels of knowledge, leadership capacity and management of the staff fail to meet the new requirements, especially in the market economy management, social management, law, etc. Many are lazy in learning and study while some just study for certificates.

Generally, in terms of quality and structure of the current staff, many aspects fail to meet the requirements of the period of boosting industrialization and modernization(4). So far, none of the defects and weaknesses mentioned in Resolution No. 03 have been overcome; in contrast, a lot of medium- and high-ranking personnel have become more seriously corrupted. The above-mentioned weaknesses have mainly been due to the weaknesses and defects in personnel work without significant improvement or change over the past 20 years, as pointed out in Resolution No. 03:

“- The evaluation, arrangement, and use of personnel are not objective, honest, reasonable, democratic or formally democratic. In many cases, the personnel arrangement heavily focuses on structure, causing confusion and passiveness on positioning key personnel in some sectors and localities; young cadres are not promoted because of narrow-mindedness and prejudice.

- Training and fostering tasks are not related to the requirements, standards and planning for personnel. The quality and effectiveness of training are low. The contents of the personnel training programs and methods are being renovated slowly, which does not equate with the practical summary of the renovation task and loosens the training in class position and revolutionary morality. The system of training schools is not reasonable, and the enrollment, examinations, graduation recognition, management of diplomas, certificates, academic titles and degrees are not scrupulous enough.

- The principle that the Party uniformly leads and manages personnel work and democratic centralism has not been concretized. The tasks of inspecting, managing personnel, protecting internal politics are loosened in many places. The inspection is carried out mostly when letters of denunciation emerge. Violators are not punished resolutely. There are few statutes on personnel management and rotation, people’s supervision and criticism towards personnel, etc. The organizational systems doing personnel work are still scattered, overlapping, unclear in functions and responsibilities”(5). Resolution No. 03 clearly identifies the causes for the above weaknesses and defects as follows:

- “Entering the new period, the Party committees have not yet predicted new situations, and have not fully understood the new contents and requirements for personnel work. The Party Central Committee has not yet issued thematical resolutions on personnel and built the strategic personnel. Many Party committees, organizations, and leaders have not been active in developing personnel planning, and preparing successors.

- Agencies in charge of personnel work have been renovated slowly, paying little attention to scientific research; there are limitations in the theoretical level and practical summary of recommendations for the strategic personnel issues. Some cadres in charge of organizational work are not good examples in terms of morality, quality, objectivity, or capacity.

- Some cadres refuse to train, self-criticize and criticize; some are governed by individualism.

- As the country’s revolution has been moving to another stage, appearing a lot of new issues such as the complicated socio-economic environment, unstable apparatus organization, and puzzled personnel work. Hostile forces seek to shake, seduce, and bribe the Party’s staff so that they can make them corrupt”(6).

The causes for the weaknesses of the personnel and personnel work pointed out in Resolution No. 03 have been absolutely true up to now. In fact, over the past 20 years, part of Party members has become corrupted in a complicated manner, and individualism and nepotism have woven their way into the Party personnel work. Many senior leaders intentionally have installed their offspring, relatives and close friends in privileged positions with a lot of benefits and bonuses, though they do not meet set requirements and standards. Many interest groups obtain positions by bribing, buying and selling, corrupting, and cooperation in order to deprave the Party and the State apparatus, leading to further corruption. Many decisions were not based on the interests of the nation and the people but rather on group interests or personal interests. Indeed a hidden force, which has been corrupted and depraved, exists in the Party and the government to manipulate, deprave, and undermine the Party and the regime. These are serious warnings for the survival of the Party and the regime. Which steps in personnel and personnel work is really weak, regardless of the efforts of the Party over the past 20 years? For us, some following points can be mentioned:

Firstly, quantitative criteria for evaluating personnel are lacking. In Resolution No. 03, a lot of personnel criteria are mentioned, but they are mostly qualitative. It is necessary to have quantitative criteria such as specific achievements to be gained by the official in five previous years to be promoted to a new position. During the previous course of work, has that official made any mistakes? In order to evaluate the result in detail, it is necessary to provide an independent supervision agency rather than let the Party executive committee of the locality decide, as it does now.

Secondly, cadres for promotion must be supervised by people. At present, when an official is promoted, there is no comment from the people at his workplace, or residential quarter made publicly, transparently, and widely. The “people’s participation in building and supervising personnel” is very weak or formal, which cannot fully reflect the personality of the official living among the people. The candidate’s name should be posted on the Internet for people to assess rather than receive comments from the Party cell in his/her residential place like it is now.

Thirdly, the links of inspection and control over cadres remain weak. The inspection regulations are inadequate, weak, formal, and ineffective because of several reasons, but it is sure that corruption leads to cursory and perfunctory work. It is important to review, examine the would-be-promoted official comprehensively and there should be an objective and secret examination of his/her work after two years.

Fourthly, the issue of assignment and devolution of personnel management has been raised; yet, only the revolution of the right to manage and promote personnel is carried out whereas little attention is paid to the devolution of the responsibilities for managing personnel. Promoted or appointed cadres are not supervised, inspected, and evaluated for their results of performing their duties and tasks in quantitative aspect, but mostly in qualitative aspect. Moreover, when an official makes mistake, no agencies, organizations, and individuals who introduced or promoted him/her are held responsible. Therefore, it is necessary to be strict towards the responsibility of the promoter and appointer of the official, and have a mechanism to supervise these activities secretly.

Fifthly, lack of strictness and regulations of the Party in personnel work makes it misled and abused. In particular, there is a regulation that five key provincial titles must not be held by local people, but it is not translated into reality in localities. In many cases, officials are rotated in a manner outside of the regulations. Degradation in personnel rotation makes the personnel weaker and abused (some may bribe for rotation so as to be promoted, others may bribe so as to stay for faster promotion without any specific, transparent measure). One of the current weaknesses is the state of “position inheritance by descendants” which is caused by loosened implementation of the regulations on the five key provincial titles of localities. The Party should be strict from the central to the grassroots levels, and what is set out by the Party must be strictly enforced without exception. No one has the right to do at variance with the regulations, regardless of positions, and a strict supervision mechanism should be provided.

Sixthly, the planning work is still formal which leads to abuse and bribery for cadres to be planned and promoted, although they may previously have committed mistakes and been corrupt. Many Party committees are manipulated by the leader and a group of people sharing the same interests, which may result in wrong planning and promotion of many officials. It is necessary to renovate the cadre planning work or remove the current cadre planning. A mechanism for training and cultivating the planned personnel should be provided such as sending them to disadvantaged and remote area as lacking perquisite to train them in revolutionary mettle and enable them to gain life experience before promotion or further promotion of them to leadership (before the Revolution in 1945, the Party well implemented the proletarianization drive).

Seventhly, there are many shortcomings in the awareness, knowledge, and interests in voting. This leads to demagogy, bribery for votes, and voting manipulation, and good and talented cadres do not have a lot of votes. It seems that opportunistic and bad candidates have most votes, which makes the staff weaker and weaker. There should be other ways to evaluate cadres in association with the quantitative measures, and examinations to prevent negative practices and subjective opinions. Voting should be considered as reference, and there should be evaluation of the work result by the involved levels, and independent and objective assessment by the concerned organization and supervision agencies.

In fact, Resolution No. 03 sets out a lot of content, rules, and procedures regarding personnel work, which are profound and comprehensive but it has not yet been really promoted. According to the Party, the State, the construct Government, and “renovation-or-death” spirit, there should be more practical policy and mechanism, solutions, criteria, quantitative measure, a mechanism of close control by the Party, the State, and the people so that we can hope to have a truly virtuous and talented personnel.

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Endnotes:

(1) Truong Tan Sang: Right now, the Party must act resolutely, vietnamnet.vn, 8 January, 2018.

(2), (3), (4), (5), (6) Resolution No. 03-NQ/TW dated 18 June 1997 of the 3rd Plenum of the Party Central Committee (8th tenure) on “Personnel Strategy in the Period of Boosting National Industrialization and Modernization”.

 

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Le Quoc Ly

Vice President, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

 

 

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Le Quoc Ly

Vice President, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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