Population data plan lacks funding

A lack of funding is a major problem in implementing the master plan on simplifying administrative procedures, citizenship papers and the population management database for 2013-2020, according to officials.

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The master plan, known as Programme 896, was approved by former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in 2015 as part of the development of e-government in Vietnam.

The plan aims to increase the use of IT in administrative procedures, reduce paperwork and streamline processes related to population management.

Under the plan, basic information on every citizen will be included in a national database on population using personal identification numbers by the end of 2020.

At a meeting on January 26, the Programme Steering Committee reported that until now, 1,146 out of 1,934 administrative procedures related to population management have been simplified.

Also, the Public Security Ministry granted personal identification numbers to more than eight million citizens in 16 cities and provinces.

More than 900,000 newborns had their birth certificates registered and were issued citizen identification numbers since the Public Security Ministry and Justice Ministry launched the work early 2016.

Ministries and agencies launched a pilot programme collecting citizens’ data in the northern cities of Hoa Binh and Phu Ly and a piloted residence management software programme in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue.

Deputy Minister of Public Security Le Quy Vuong said at the meeting that the programme on population management database was behind schedule because of a funding shortage.

This also prevented data sharing between the national population database and databases at ministries/agencies, he said.

Deputy Minister of Justice Nguyen Khanh Ngoc said that it would be difficult to complete the national population database in the next two years because of the huge workload.

Advancements in population management could not be made without a complete national database, Ngoc said.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Hung said that a digital population management database was the most important IT application in Vietnam’s administrative reform.

“We are talking a lot about developing e-Government, administrative reform and smart cities but the development of an important foundation – a digital national population database is behind schedule, which could slow down other work,” Hung said.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is also Head of the Programme Steering Committee, urged ministries and agencies to speed up Programme 896.

Ministries or agencies should closely co-operate with Public Security Ministry when developing their own database to avoid overlapping and waste, he said.

Binh also urged relevant parties to expand the issuance of personal identification numbers so that the issuance would cover all 63 cities and provinces nationwide by 2019.

The deputy PM asked ministries of Public Security, Finance, Planning and Investment to complete proposal to the National Assembly Standing Committee to add the programme into list of projects under middle term public investment during 2016-2020. 

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