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  ICT applications

Vietnam looks to online future with e-government

The state is pushing ahead with modernising its services by planning to initiate the e-government process in the major cities of Hanoi, HCM City and Da Nang from next year, in order to offer a streamlined and efficient service to residents, businesses and government agencies by 2010.

The announcement was made in the latest government decision approving the pre-feasibility study of the $107mil Vietnam Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Development project for 2006-2010.

Accordingly, the government approved a request by the Ministry of Post and Telematics (MPT), the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the municipal People’s Committees of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang to borrow $93.7mil from the World Bank to launch the e-government project. Of the total, Hanoi will have the largest loan package of $35mil, which it will use to push the project in 12 districts.

Three local state offices comprising the Departments of Information Technology, and Planning and Investment, and the People’s Committee Office, will use the loan package to promote information technology and design the municipal e-government process and basic exchange portals.

Hanoi authorities aim to offer at least three-to-five G2B (government-to-business) services including a geographic information system (GIS) and online services to at least 15 per cent of its residents, as well as encouraging 35 per cent of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to use ICT.

Under the plan, website and exchange portals will be updated at least once a week. Eighty per cent of the content will be updated automatically while around 30 per cent of administrative procedures will be addressed online.

The Ho Chi Minh City project requires the smallest loan package, with a total value of $12mil, to encourage at least 40 per cent of local SMEs to use ICT. Danang has set the lowest saturation target compared to Hanoi and the second city. It aims to offer three or four G2B services and online services to at least 10 per cent of its residents and 30 per cent of SMEs will use ICT in their transactions.

Pham Kim Son, director of Danang Information Technology Department, said the department is hurrying to finish compiling its feasibility study in order to submit it to the government before September 15, as well as set up the project implementation unit (PIU) to steer the project implementation this week.

“ICT development in the city will change rapidly in terms of boosting applications, education and human resources, and infrastructure in the next five years to set up an e-government in certain regions,” said Son.

Tran Minh Tien, director of the National Institute of Post and Telematics Strategy under the Ministry of Post and Telematics, said that following approval of the pre-feasibility studies by the government, each locality and agency will have a duty to write a feasibility study while the negotiations between the Vietnamese side and the World Bank are completed.

Following negotiations, the bank will submit an application to its board in September for approval and the money may be disbursed next year.

Each city and ministry will take responsibility for the loan and the World Bank will consider extending the project to other cities and provinces based on the result of current projects.

The General Statistics Office will funnel money to install new ICT equipment in late 2008 as well as offer local area network (LAN) training courses on ICT to its staff at all GSO branches by mid-2009. The office will offer its database through the LAN and post it online by 2010.

The MPT will deploy works to support three cities and the GSO, offer online services such as quality management, ICT equipment import-export and telecom operation licensing, frequencies management and the standardisation of ICT applications, open an information portal for the ministry and train 400 chief information officers, as well as set up an innovation support fund to promote business initiatives in ICT development.

The projects form part of the general strategy on e-government in Vietnam to 2010, which aims to place all government services and information online.

Accordingly, funds equivalent to 1 per cent of GDP will be funneled to implement the project from 2006 to make sure all state employees are able to use e-mail and search for information online.

Following the introduction of the service, 50 per cent of paper documents will be posted online, while 40 per cent of enterprises will be able to complete customs e-declarations using the service. A quarter of residents in centrally managed-cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, and a half of total enterprises in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, will be able to declare taxes.

VIETNAMNET - (23/08/2005)

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