Good news and a moment of irony
Last week, when I saw this headline, “Vietnam leads the way for efficient public services,” I assumed it came from The Onion. It actually comes from The Guardian. and highlights Vietnam’s plan to reduce the size of government bureaucracy here and make it more efficient. Efficiency does not seem to be part of Vietnam’s national character. For example, repairs are stopgaps, building projects are frequently abandoned because they haven’t been planned or funded sufficiently and the business model is by and national parks, museums and historic sites frequently lack information of a useful nature. Not to mention the police, who cause more traffic jams than they prevent. But, if anyone can do it, it’s probably Vietnam, with its ambition, stubbornness, and development happening at time-lapse speed.
Vietnam has instituted a radical simplification of its public sector. In 2007, the government launched Project 30, a plan to cut its administrative procedures by 30%. The country created a single, national database of all its administrative procedures and then assessed them against three criteria: whether they are necessary, whether they are user friendly, and whether they are legal.