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Collective brains contribute to financial policy development

08:12 | 20/10/2016

VCN- Instead of implementation as a legal obligation, the Ministry of Finance has flexibly consulted organizations and individuals in developing legislation and financial policies over the past years. Thus, the system of financial policies could be more sustainable, transparent, appropriate, uniform and feasible in reality. 

collective brains contribute to financial policy development
Most legal documents issued by the Ministry of Finance or competent authorities have been forwarded to collect opinions under the right procedures. (Photo: H.Van)

Civilians are enabled to raise their voices

Assessing opinion collection for developing certain specific policies in the financial sector, Mr. Nguyen Trong Nghia – legal consultant to the Ministry of Finance said that most legal documents which have been issued by the Ministry of Finance or submitted to the competent authorities have been processed under the right formalities and dossiers; beneficiaries, related ministries, branches, organizations as well as individuals have been asked for opinions about the drafts of legal texts. Methods to seek opinions from associated parties are various, mostly used by authorities in charge of drafting the legal texts in a synchronous manner and results in efficiency.

Specifically, Mr. Nghia took Tax and Customs as examples. These fields have a big amount of beneficiaries and a huge number of relations so the Ministry of Finance considers that the seeking of opinions from concerned organizations, individuals as key and direct beneficiaries is very urgent and essential during the process of drafting legal documents. In reality, opinion collection is conducted under a common procedure: Upon completing drafts, on the basis of opinions raised by the units of the Ministry of Finance and the approvals by the leaders of the Ministry, the legal drafts would be sent to collect opinions from related parties by 4 ways: dispatching documents; publishing via the Ministry’s Portal, the General Departments’ websites; meetings, workshops and dialogues. Basically, these ways have brought about some feasible results such as sending sufficient drafts to right beneficiaries; various methods of implementation; organizations and individuals being enabled to take part in legal text drafting. Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance received opinions from the community, of which 77.63% were in writing; 43.35% from workshops and 3.2% attained from the websites.

In addition to opinion collection, the opinions rasied by the related units have been processed in a strict manner. Some opinions have been incorporated into drafts. Others have been clearly explained for non-incorporation. On processing opinions, drafting units have to make detailed reports on acceptation or explanation of opinions for the purpose of transparency and publicity in drafting legal texts. The Ministry of Finance has made efforts to coordinate with relevant organizations and associations to protect enterprises and organizations as beneficiaries. Based on the common voice, legal documents have been drafted in line with the real situation. Thus, the documents’ quality would be enhanced and bring about efficiency. Particularly, the community’s opinion collection in developing financial policies in parallel with information dissemination and legislation education have created twin efficient solutions, further improving responsibility, accountability, understanding and concerns of the officials, individuals and organizations who get involved in drafting legal documents as well as suffer impacts from these documents.

Strengthening connection

Realizing the importance of the foresaid activities, Mr. Dang Cong Khoi – Deputy Director of the Legal Department under the Ministry of Finance revealed the Ministry is considering opinion collection as a tool to enhance the quality of developing and completing the financial legislation. Accordingly, collection of the community’s opinions is not only an essential basis for promoting democracy in legal document development but also enables civilians to raise their voice on national policies and the people’s life regulated in legal documents and directly listened to by competent authorities. Therefore, the collective brains and related parties’ expectation and will could be mobilized to develop appropriate regulations in line with reality, contributing to legal documents’ feasibility on being published, minimizing risks that may arise from unexpected consequences of policies and especially ensuring the harmonization of benefits for different groups in the society.

Proposing specific recommendations to the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Tran Huu Huynh – Consultant of the USAID-funded Governance for Inclusive Growth Program in Vietnam (GIG) supposed that in order to raise consultation in legal document development in the coming time, the Ministry of Finance should improve internal operation efficiency through paying more attention to drafts preparation on exploring the needs of stakeholders, identifying the targets and fundamental impacts.

At the same time, the Ministry of Finance should ensure transparency and publicity in the process of developing legal documents. So, they could publish revised drafts; take notes of changes of new versions, reflecting their good will in receiving individuals and organizations’ opinions by acknowledging their receipt of opinions, even sending thank-you letters to the stakeholders for their opinions, making related parties’ opinions public and publishing the explanation and acceptation of the opinions.

According to Mr. Huynh, the connection with the business community via numerous associations in the process of consulting for policies development should be strengthened in parallel with the efficient use of mass media.

Finally, Mr. Huynh shared several flexible methods of connection in addition to the current consultation method. Those are soft connections via periodic and urgent reports by email. The Ministry of Finance should bring into full play the results from the recent dialogues with enterprises and avoid putting everything in the administration style, conflicts, and monologue. Instead, dialogues and interactions should be reinforced meanwhile explanation of specific cases should be reduced to focus on issue groups and forward policy recommendations.

From 2007 to 2015, the Ministry of Finance has forwarded 38 law projects, ordinances, resolutions to the Government for submitting to the National Assembly and the National Assembly’s Standing Committee; proposing the Government and the Prime Minister to issue 344 decrees and decisions by the Prime Minister and publishing 2,074 circulars, joint circulars, orders and decisions by the Minister of Finance.

By Hong Van/ Phuong Lien