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Streamlining the apparatus - the “spearhead” in reform of the Finance sector

14:04 | 07/01/2019

VCN - Along with reforming administrative procedures and modernizing operations, reforming the state administrative apparatus is an important policy, contributing to building a Government that creates and serves. Thoroughly grasping this policy, the Ministry of Finance has focused on implementing many innovative solutions, creating a streamlined, more efficient apparatus.

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By 2021, the General Department of Taxation will have to reduce at least 50% of the branches. Photo: H.Van.

Figure “shows it all”

Under the implementation of Conclusion No. 64-KL/ TU dated May 28, 2013 of the 7th Central Conference of the 11th session on a number of issues to continue renovation and improvement of the political system from the central to grassroots levels, the Party Civil Affairs Committee and leaders of the Ministry of Finance paid attention, directed, thoroughly grasped and organized the implementation of a number of innovative solutions, arranged the Ministry of Finance's apparatus in the direction of streamlining and efficiency. Accordingly, from the beginning of 2013 to the end of 2018, the Ministry of Finance has cut about 3,000 units from the central level to the local level, which reduced 180 leaders at department level; about 2,800 leaders at team level. The number of public non-business units under and attached to the Ministry of Finance has decreased from 35 units at the end of 2016 to 28 units due to reorganizing, dissolving and stopping operations.

Along with that, deploying the Resolution of the 6th Central Conference of the 12th session on this issue, since the beginning of 2018, the Minister of Finance signed the Decision No. 444/QD-BTC promulgating the Action Plan to implement Resolutions, which emphasize to continue reviewing and improving functions, duties, powers and organizational structure, a task is only assigned to an agency, organization to implement and take main responsibilities, other organizations only coordinate.

The Ministry of Finance will not establish new departments under the ministry, special cases are decided by competent authorities; does not upgrade the departments; does not establish a representative office of the Ministry of Finance in the South.

During the implementation, the Ministry of Finance determined that the organization of thoroughly grasping and raising awareness, creating a clear change in ideology and action in continuing to innovate and organize the streamlined and operational apparatus are one of the most important tasks. Therefore, the Party Committee of the Ministry of Finance issued the Resolution No.04-NQ/BCSĐ to implement the Resolution of the 6th Central Conference of the 12th session. This Resolution regulates that the Finance sector will strictly manage the workforce, cut down the staff in combination with restructuring the civil servants and officials; synchronously implement solutions to attract and recruit talents...

After 1 year of implementation, the Ministry of Finance cut 53 branches and equivalent departments in the local Department. Specifically: 1 customs department has been dissolved; consolidated and merged 10 state reserve branches into 5 branches; closed 43 transaction offices under the State Treasury of provinces; merged 7 tax departments into 3 regional tax departments; cut 357 teams/ groups under the Sub-Department of the local Department. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance is continuing to arrange and merge tax departments to organize activities by regions, ensuring that by 2020, there will be 420 tax departments; reorganizing departmental units under the local Tax Department.

In addition to streamlining the apparatus, cutting staff, the Finance sector also focuses on attracting talent and improving human resources. It is worth mentioning that the organization of the pilot contest for the position of Deputy Head of the Ministry of Finance Inspectorate, 3 candidates were successfully recruited, and it held the assessment of the capacity of 200 officials of Quang Ninh Customs Department for the first time, aiming to renew some human resource management activities based on capacity and job positions...

Avoiding stagnating at work

These figures clearly show the determination and breakthrough of the entire financial sector from the central to local levels, but most importantly, the above reductions are made with the prerequisite that it does not effect people and businesses.

Sharing about this issue, Mr. Vi Thanh Son, Director of the Organization and Personnel Department, General Department of Taxation said: Tax units have required the establishment of regional tax departments so as to not cause troubles, increase time and costs that affect taxpayers in fulfilling their tax obligations; creating favorable conditions to attract investment, promoting socio-economic development in the locality.

Another important goal is to establish a regional tax office that does not affect the management of budget revenues and expenditures in the locality; not affecting the budget plan, budget revenue accounting for each area of districts and towns, which are consolidated into the tax department, ensuring the decentralization of management of provincial and district budgets in accordance with regulations.

So far, according to Mr. Vi Thanh Son, organizing and reorganizing regional tax departments are implemented according to the plan, with a roadmap, not causing great disruption in organization, staff, and mindset of civil servants and workers. For human resource work, it still remains initially the current workforce, and at the same time, arranges, restructures in line with functions, areas, and sets priorities for the main functions and key areas.

Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, Deputy General Director of the State Treasury said: In the process of reorganizing the organizational structure, the State Treasury system does not allow congestion at work that has received agreement, support of the committees, local authorities and units dealing with them.

Besides, through monitoring, although the organization and arranging the apparatus directly affects the cadres and civil servants, the units in the whole system still maintain the solidarity, stability, with no complaints when arranging work and implementing policies for cadres and civil servants.

Mr. Nguyen Van Tho, Director General of the Organization and Personnel Department, General Department of Customs affirmed: The initial results of rearranging the organizational structure of the teams at the Customs Branch shows that, basically, solving overlap in functions and duties of the teams, thereby clearly defining the power and responsibilities of the units in the organizational system of the General Department of Customs, contributing to positively promoting the process of customs reform and modernization, suitable and responsive to the requirements of assigned political tasks.

“Make hay while the sun shines”, in the coming time, the consolidation and streamlining of the Ministry of Finance’s apparatus will continue with the goal of ensuring effective, efficient and smooth operation, meeting the requirements of reform, modernizing the sector and international economic integration. Specific targets are also set: For non-business units under the Ministry, by 2021, reduce at least 10% of public non-business units compared to 2015.

By 2021, the entire financial sector will reduce at least 10% of the staff. In the first quarter of 2019, to restructure branches of the local Departments under the General Department with vertical systems to reduce at least 215 branches. By 2021, the General Department of Taxation will reduce at least 50% of the tax department; The General Department of State Reserves and the State Treasury continue to restructure to reduce regional state reserve branches and district-level State Treasuries; The General Department of Customs continues to restructure to reduce bureaus, departments, teams.

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That specific goal is a firm affirmation that streamlining and improving the operational efficiency of the apparatus will be the “key” of the reform of the Finance sector in the coming time in parallel with administrative reform activities and modernization that has gradually entered orbit.

Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Phuong - Member of the Committee on Social Affairs of the National Assembly:

Results of arranging and merging units of the Ministry of Finance show the determination to reform the apparatus; attaching apparatus reform to administrative procedure reform; application of information technology and modernization in order to improve the effectiveness of state management and law enforcement organizations of the financial sector. This shows the high responsibility of the Ministry of Finance in complying with the Resolution of the Party Central Committee, the requirements of the National Assembly and the Government in cutting staff.

Dr. Nguyen Minh Phong - Economic expert:

When reducing staff, less leaders, it must raise the level of human resources. During the process of cutting staff, if choosing the best among 3 people in a position, it is clear that the service capacity will increase. I think that the Ministry of Finance, along with streamlined, effective and efficient apparatus, needs to continue the process of modernization and improve the quality of each job position. As I know, the Ministry of Finance has set out a streamlined arrangement of apparatus to 2021. This is very necessary, but it also needs to be drastic in implementation to create consistency, to the end, not half-hearted.

By Hong Van/ Kieu Oanh