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The sweeping first change
The Saigon Times Daily
Monday,  Nov 6, 2017,19:09 (GMT+7)

The sweeping first change

The Saigon Times Daily

It sounds like a standing ovation when the Government makes a bold move in its drive to revolutionarily streamline administrative procedures by scrapping the old-style household registration system.

The Prime Minister on the weekend signed Resolution 112/NQ-CP with immediate effect, approving a plan to abolish all procedures related to the Household Registration Book and the Citizen’s Identity Card in resident management, replacing them by national identity numbers. The move, which heaps praise from all walks of life, is poised to usher in a sweeping change in society. Still, it is just the first step in a long to-do list.

The resolution was signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approving a scheme proposed by the Ministry of Public Security to simplify the resident management system by applying information technology.

Under the resolution, the heavy paperwork that has been haunting citizens for decades will all be abolished. Instead, all such procedures will be simplified by assigning each citizen a national identity number.

In theory, all costly and time-consuming procedures will be made short and easy. People from other provinces working in major cities will not have to return to their hometowns to have their resumes certified by the authorities in the places where their original residence is registered. People registering their assets like homes or vehicles will not have to produce their household registration books and related papers. Those travelling to places other than their hometowns for work will not have to apply for temporary residence permits and periodically have such permits renewed. Thousands of other bothersome procedures you name it will be lifted. All paperwork can be easily processed when citizens give their national identity numbers.

Prospects from such a sweeping change have all the people rejoice, but such a change will not be easy as a colossal amount of work must be done.

The first challenge is how to create a new legal corridor. The Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with other relevant agencies to abolish regulations contradictory to the new resolution and build new legal documents aligned to the resolution. This will surely take time.

Even more challenging is the task to issue national identity numbers for nearly 100 million people, alongside the integration of tons of personal information into the national data system. Recent hiccups in the trial issuance of the new identity card have proved the tough task.

Last but not least, preparing manpower for a sweeping change like this has never been a smooth job. Training and retraining the huge number of employees in the State machinery will be a painstaking process. Reality has pointed out that whenever a law is abolished for the public good, new legal requirements are always created by the local level for the sake of easier State management. The sweeping change, therefore, requires a strong political commitment.

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