Accelerating Administrative Procedure Reform, Improving Land Access Index

10:08:15 AM | 22/12/2020

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Vinh Long province has stepped up administrative procedure reform, removed obstacles to land access, and actively coordinated with localities to deal with site clearance and provide favorable conditions for investors to implement projects, thus bringing satisfaction to people and businesses and raising the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) in recent years.

Firm to reform administrative procedures

To create favorable conditions for people and businesses as well as improve its performance, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment has focused on administrative reform. The department advised the Provincial People's Committee to announce the set of administrative procedures concerning natural resources and environment and publicly listed on the websites of the department and local authorities, thus helping people and businesses conveniently access and implement administrative procedures.

On the other hand, the department regularly improves the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system and is upgrading it to ISO 9001: 2015 standard.

In addition, the department coordinates with the Vinh Long Public Administration Center to develop an internal process to deal with specific types of procedure, helping shorten the processing time. For example, the province constantly improves the effect and quality of appraising and approving environmental impact assessment (EIA) reports, certifying environmental projects and certifying environmental protection plans. The settlement time is reduced by 1-3 days, in line with the law, while leaving no backlog.

The time for obtaining a mining license has been reduced by 5 days to 85 days (compared to 90-day timeframe); procedures for appraising and approving mineral reserves take 10 fewer days, to 170 days from 180 days; and land procedures need 3-10 fewer days than regulatory time.

In general, reforming administrative procedures of natural resources and environment not only helps significantly improve processing quality, but also reduces time and costs for organizations and enterprises. There is a sharp improvement of service attitude and ethics of civil servants working in the natural resources and environment sector, and a sharp increase in satisfaction of individuals and organizations.

Facilitating land access

In 2019, the “Access to Land” Index of Vinh Long province scored 7.89 points, (an increase of 0.85 points over 2018), one of high-cored component indices of the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI). According to Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan, Deputy Director of Department of Natural Resources and Environment this encouraging result came from efforts of all levels of government, including the efforts of the natural resources and environment sector.

Specifically, the Party and authorities focused on annual inspection and supervision of activities conducted by the sector. At the same time, there is active coordination of departments, specialized branches and People's Committees at district and commune levels.

Besides, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment always defined administrative reform as among the important factors to enhance the “Access to Land Index” as mentioned above. The department advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue a list of administrative procedures relating to land, detailed instructions on steps, stages, documents, forms, financial obligations (if any) and settlement time for each type of procedure. At the same time, the agency raised the publicity and transparency of administrative procedures; and arranged employees to work directly at the Vinh Long Public Administration Center and district-level single window divisions to reduce the rate of returned application forms submitted by people and enterprises.

Furthermore, the public announcement of land-use plans facilitated investors to access to study investment options. The issuance of land-use rights certificates also had a strong impact on the “Access to Land Index”. Therefore, the department directed professional divisions in a timely manner, and actively sped up the granting of land-use rights certificates for organizations and people.

“Another factor is the department’s focused investment in completing the land database system; developing synchronous technical infrastructure, integrating land data from commune to provincial levels to facilitate quick and convenient data search. The department also coordinated with tax authorities to determine financial obligations more quickly and accurately,” he emphasized.

To further improve the index and facilitate businesses and people, in the coming time, the department will continue to speed up open and transparent forms of information on land use plans; publish the land price list; coordinate with localities to publicize specific land prices for people giving up their land for investment projects.

Along with that, the department has publicized hotline phone numbers and email addresses of agencies responsible for receiving feedback and recommendations on the process of conducting administrative procedures to have timely solutions to obstacles. It holds monthly meetings with citizens to listen, guide and remove difficulties of administrative procedures relating to land and environment for businesses and people.

“Besides, the department focused on guiding civil servants to adhere to ethical standards in delivery of public services; inspecting responsibility fulfilment of its subordinate units and employees directly dealing with administrative complaints to promptly detect, prevent and strictly handle cases of harassment and negative actions,” said Deputy Director Nguyen Van Tuan.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum

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