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Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:36
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Building the contingent of cadres at strategic level meeting the requirements of the Fatherland development and protection in the new periods: breakthrough solutions

(LLCT) - Being fully aware of the role of the cadres at strategic level in building and developing the country in the renovation period, the Party has focused on building a set of regulations and solutions for the development of this contingent. However, given the new requirements of national development, many regulations and solutions are no longer suitable. Based on analysing the limitations, shortcomings in the phases of identifying standards, planning, selecting, cultivating, evaluating, examination, supervising the reserve cadres at strategic level, this article proposes some recommendations to improve the efficiency of this work.

Keywords: Cadres at strategic level, reserve cadres at strategic level.

Cadre at strategic level is a multi-layered concept. In terms of political mission, cadres at strategic level are responsible for addressing the strategic issues of the Party and nation. As for management, they are senior cadres under management of the Politburo and the Secretariat. In terms of position, senior cadres are assigned to conduct leadership at the ministries, departments, provinces, centrally-governed cities and the nerve centres of the Party, the State, and socio-political organizations. As for requirements, cadres at strategic level must have strategic thinking, vision, and ability to handle the strategic relationships of the country. In terms of professional qualifications, they are required to have profound understanding of numerous fields of society, grasp of era tendency, political mission of the Party, stable mind, morality, quality, political stuff, and trust from the Party, the State, and the people.

Cadres at strategic level mean those managed by the Politburo, the Secretariat, of which the core component can be the members of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo, and the Secretariat with key leadership title of the Party and the State.

Building cadres at strategic level is a multilink process or the connected, interactive ones. There are normally 6 phases: 1) Defining the standards of cadres at strategic level, 2) Creating source of cadres at strategic level, 3) Planning cadres at strategic level, 4) Cultivating and rotating cadres at strategic level, 5) Introducing personnel to the Party Central Committee and National Congress; 6) Cultivating, managing, controlling, supervising the new cadres at strategic level. The purpose of building cadres at strategic level is to create the activeness, early discovery of cadres at strategic level who have leadership, management talents, and methodical training, maturity in reality for planning, cultivating, training, meeting the short term and long term tasks of the Party and the country.

Being aware of the position, role, and importance of the cadres at strategic level, the Party and State always pay much attention to building their contingent, especially in the process of “Doi moi” - renewal. A set of solutions to build up the contingent of cadres at strategic level on the theoretical basis and reality of Vietnamese revolution has been basically established. In each period, depending on real requirements, some breakthrough solutions have been proposed and implemented from which a lot of significant results have been achieved. However, in face of new requirements for national development, many breakthrough solutions are no longer suitable. The study to find the new breakthrough solutions, or make timely adjustments to the applied solutions to build the contingent of cadres at strategic level with sufficient quality, competence, and prestige to meet the requirements of the country’s revolution in the new period is the urgent demand in building the Party, the socialist law-ruled State in the period of accelerating industrialization, modernization and international integration.

The breakthrough solutions in building up the cadres at strategic level in our country today mostly focus on 2 contents: firstly, closely following the 6 phases in the process of building the cadres at strategic level, secondly, analyzing the factors that affect its implementation process. However, in reality, there are a lot of limitations in the two above contents.

Firstly, identifying standard of cadres at strategic level

Cadre evaluation is considered as the most important phase in personnel work, but this has been the weakest phase up to now, especially for those cadres at strategic level. Additionally, self-improvement and evaluation on the strategic vision of the cadres at strategic level or source of cadres at strategic level are still limited. In many cases, there are signs of “tactical” cadres without strategic vision. The introduction of human resources also does not emphasize the specific standard qualities of the cadres at strategic level. Specialized agencies at times seem just to look at the résumé, or bureaucratically based on biased reports of achievements, etc. Therefore, the introduction of human resources is still inaccurate.

Recently, the Politburo issued Regulation No. 90-QD/TW on standards for titles and criteria for evaluating cadres managed by the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat. This is the first time the Politburo has issued specific regulations on title standards, evaluation criteria for high ranking cadres of the Party and the State. It also makes up the basis for evaluating senior cadres in general, including those at strategic level. However, it still lacks specific, clear, and qualitative standards for each sector, locality, etc.

Secondly, planning for the contingent of cadres at strategic level

In fact, the difference between planning the cadres at strategic level and other cadres is that the former comes under the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee, Politburo, Secretariat, and direct management of the Politburo, and the Secretariat. In addition to selection from the pool of planned junior cadres, the planned cadres at strategic level are also selected from the introduction of the recent members of the Party Central Committee, Politburo, and Secretariat. The step of consulting the opinion of the Party Central Committee on this list is done before the Politburo discusses and decides the list of planned cadres.

However, the criteria for evaluating political quality of cadres at strategic level are detailed and specified, the objectivity, direct responsibility of the executive committee leaders in numerous cases are not fully specified, so the planning quality at different levels is not guaranteed. The additional introduction from the recent members of the Party Central Committee, Secretariat is not carefully observed and studied. Acceptance of the introduced list is sometimes done in a hurry.

Thirdly, selecting planned cadres at strategic level

There are a number of following limitations to this selection:

Objectivity, transparency, and equality have always been stressed in the Directives of the Party, however, the implementation process have not been fully deployed. The public announcement of the standards, conditions, and number of cadres for planned cadres at strategic level is just done at the time of the process which is not yet or not announced publicly. The resources of introduction, nomination or scope of candidates is limited which mostly focus on the cadres, civil servants, officials in units, agencies in need of additional leaders rather than extend to those at other agencies or units within the ministries, sectors and localities. This restricts the selection resource as well as narrows the scope of discovering competent people.

The thinking in selecting planned cadres at strategic level is innovated slowly, so the selection of cadres at strategic level resources does not abide the “recruitment and dismissal,” “promotion and demotion” mechanism. The awareness of the levels, sectors are not equal, lowly determined. The instruction of the Party executive committees and the heads of the agencies, units are not rigorous and inconsistent. The sign of indulgence still exists which overlooks the opportunist, unworthy people.

The selection often does not focus on real level, competence, and the required quality of the cadres at strategic level but focus on degrees and certificates. Additionally, it is not in association with reality and work effectiveness, and the comment and evaluation of the staff are still indulgent and evasive. On deciding staff introduction, many executive committees do not have full understanding of competence, level of candidates before the vote. The decision depends mainly on the recommendation and introduction of the staff agency (the organizers of the executive committee), so the intelligence and responsibility of executive committee for selection are not promoted.

Vote of confidence. In the process of appointment and selection, vote of confidence is only considered as reference but not decisive. However, at present, this method is considered as the decisive factor of selection. The person with highest votes is normally appointed and selected. The content of the vote is designed like the ballot consisting of two options: agree or disagree. This leads to the fact that some people focus on building up the relationship, flattering everyone so that they could get high votes when the process is done rather than improve their profession. Consequently, it leads to “lobbying” situation. Those who are smart, “good at relation” will win the high vote without paying attention to training, improvement of level, competence, profession to master the work and accomplish the assigned tasks, etc.

Fourthly, cultivating the planned cadres at strategic level (including staff rotation and cultivation)

Over the past time, although the rotation of cadres at strategic level has achieved some positive results, but there remain some limitations such as slow change in thinking and way of performance, few method to evaluate the rotated cadres correctly, and short of full, synchronous, close regulation on rotating staff. Some goals, requirements for staff rotation have not been implemented or implemented ineffectively, etc.

There are a lot of shortcomings in training cadres at strategic level through the short courses for reserve cadres and those for the newly-elected Party Central Committee members. The organization of these courses has not been regular and methodical. The recruitment of the courses for reserve cadres is just conducted by selection (the locality appoints, the Organization Committee of the Central Committee approves and organizes, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics trains, and the Central Government receives). Therefore, the phase of selection via examination and test are not properly done. The content and method of training still focus too much on knowledge, skills rather than training for strategic vision and thinking. Many supportive special subjects are not really suitable (even done by foreign experts). Field trips seem just for sightseeing rather than for thorough understanding or learning theoretical experiences to apply in reality. Due attention has not been paid to the training, improvement of discipline, morality, behavior of cadres (This is the weakest phase of the refresher courses for reserve cadres at strategic level recently). Although personnel in charge of teaching the refresher courses are chosen carefully, some limitations have been exposed in reality.

Fifthly, evaluating planned cadres at strategic level

In the series of activities for building the contingent of cadres at strategic level, this is the essential phase before each National Congress.

However, in practice, the evaluation of cadres at strategic level is primarily based on resume and personal backgrounds, lacking multi-perspective information. Additionally, the negatives of “group interest,” bribery for position and power, and the sophisticated bribery acts have not been detected yet. Many cases have been evaluated and introduced through relation, “group interest” rather than quality and talent.

Sixthly, checking, monitoring newly selected cadres at strategic level

In fact, there are a lot of limitations in checking and supervising the cadres at strategic level. Many Party Central Committee members or ministers have been disciplined, and planned cadres at strategic level have committed serious violation. It seems that we are lacking a standing agency with the advisory function and preparation of exact foundations for the selection of cadres at strategic level by the Party Central Committee, Secretariat and Politburo. Such agency has the function of observing, supervising, evaluating cadres at strategic level since they are planned until selected for the positions of key leaders at localities, ministries, departments, etc., and it is responsible for introduction and evaluation.

Reality has shown that even when each phase of building the contingent of cadres at strategic level has been well performed, but the connection between all the six phases has not been synchronized due to lack of a supervising agency. Normally, after each term of the Party National Congress, when the election is vote, there is no agency to supervise or control the cadres at strategic level. As a result, a mechanism for power supervision, warning, timely settlement is still missing. When this reaches serious recession, it will make the Party and the State lose prestige and trust of the people, and even causes threat to the existence of the regime.

In order to effectively build a contingent of cadres at strategic level meeting the requirements of the cause of development and protection of the Fatherland in the new period, the following recommendations should be taken into consideration:

Firstly, the contingent of cadres at strategic level should be built with proper quantity and quality, structure, capability, and virtue on par with the revolutionary missions of the Fatherland. To this end, apart from serious implementation of the Politburo regulations (Regulations No. 85, 89, 90, etc.), there should be a specialized resolution (either by the Party Central Committee or the Politburo) on building the contingent of cadres at strategic level. That resolution should clarify the role and importance of strategic planning; provide the synchronous process to carry out the guideline, measures, and solutions to build the contingent of cadres at strategic level; establish plans for training cadres at strategic level in refresher courses and in fieldwork; plan for the arrangement of cadres at strategic level; and specify responsibility of individuals and organizations in charge of cadres at strategic level work, etc.

Secondly, establishing a specialized organization which can capitalize on the advantages of proper agencies in building the contingent of cadres at strategic level. At present, the work of building cadres at strategic level in our country still lacks such an entity with full authority, responsibility and long standing position before, during and after each National Party Congress to prepare for cadres at strategic level (the Central Organization Committee does not have sufficient personnel and authority to take on this responsibility, while the Personnel Sub-committee only works shortly before and ends its operation right after each National Congress). Therefore, it is necessary to set up a High-level Personnel Committee under direct management and direction of the Politburo to take charge of this task from the first to the last phase and to be responsible before the Party and people about the chosen cadres at strategic level. In addition to the High-level Personnel Committee, other channels from the localities, departments, and sectors should be maintained to introduce cadres at strategic level to the Committee, but the personnel list by the Committee comes as the last stage and has high authenticity for the informed decision by the Politburo, the Secretariat, the Party Central Committee and finally the National Party Congress.

Thirdly, building a close process in selecting cadres at strategic level. After getting the list of proposed cadres from ministries, departments, localities, etc., there should be a conference among the advisory agencies (currently the Central Organization Committee, later the High-level Personnel Committee) with Party organizations to agree on the list of selected cadres.

Fourthly, the planning and building of a source of reserve cadres at strategic level must be carried out comprehensively at all levels, and coordination between higher and lower levels is required. It is possible to have plans for cadres horizontally (among ministries, departments, etc.) and vertically (from local to central levels and vice versa).

Fifthly, in training planned reserve cadres at strategic level, it is imperative to renovate the selection and evaluation method for the trainees in refresher courses for reserve cadres at strategic level in the direction of objective selection right at the phase of choosing the cadres via examinations at the beginning as well as during the training process. At the same time, upon their graduation, evaluation should be done on a transparent and serious basis. The evaluation result is taken as hard data for their introduction to the Politburo and the Party Central Committee.

 

The contents and training methods for planned reserve cadres at strategic level should be renovated. For example: The ways to organize the refresher courses should be diversified (different groups, fields, duration, etc.); the trainees should not only taught heavy theoretical contents but also equipped with the strategic thinking and vision about the era, the international background, etc. The quality of experts (lecturers and teaching assistants) as well as managers should be enhanced to ensure practical effectiveness and strict compliance with rules and regulations at the refresher courses for reserve cadres at strategic level.

Prof., Dr. Nguyen Dang Thanh

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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