Photo: Duc Anh
Number of State officials targeted to not increase by 2020.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) has requested that the total number of State officials be reduced by 5,433 in the first phase this year.
According to MoHA, as at last January the number of State officials was cut by 9,595 in 2015 and early 2016. Of these, 339 officials from mass organizations and communist parties, 1,024 from administrative agencies, 5,999 from public service agencies, 2,004 officials at the commune level and 49 in State-owned enterprises were let go.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Tran Anh Tuan told local media that reducing the number of State official has become easier in recent years. The Politburo issued Decision No. 2218 and Resolution No.39 to push the task forward, he said.
The reductions are based on a principle of “two out, one in”, meaning, for example, that for every ten officials let go, five new staff members can be appointed to new department or organizations.
Therefore, it is possible that by 2021 there will no increase in the overall number of State officials. He acknowledges, however, that the reducing the number of State officials is a difficult task.
Firstly, Vietnam is in need of new organizations, schools, and hospitals, which means more recruitment of teachers and doctors.
Secondly, establishing how many State officials should be let go can be problematic.
Thirdly, there are many State-owned enterprises that need additional staff.
In 2016 the government spent VND500 billion ($22.42 million) on reducing the number of State officials. Mr. Tuan noted that this would be wasted should the quality of State staff not improve.
Over the next five years the government is trying to cut the number of State officials by 10 per cent, except in the customs and tax departments.
In the 2007-2011 period the government spent VND3.158 trillion ($141.6 million) on letting go 69,000 State officials yet the overall number still increased and the State budget is still being used to cut down numbers. Mr. Tuan said that in many cases, less-qualified officials were sacked and well-qualified officials appointed, to enhance the quality of the government’s operations.
He emphasized that reducing the number of State official does not mean sacking qualified staff, as the whole process is aimed at improving the quality of State officials.
Ho Chi Minh City, northern Quang Ninh province and central Da Nang city are leading in efforts to enhance the quality of their public officials.