VCN - Streamlining and improving the operational efficiency of its apparatus has been identified by the financial sector as a "spearhead task" of reform, in parallel with administrative reform and modernization activities, which gradually came into the order.
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Cautious but assertive
Resolution No. 18-NQ/TW dated October 25, 2017 on some issues of innovation and arrangement of the political system towards streamline and effectiveness, which was approved by the Central Party Committee of the 12th Congress, is considered as a revolution in all levels and branches, including the financial sector.
Deploying the resolutions of the Central Government and the Politburo on reorganizing and streamlining the apparatus, the Party Central Committee and the Minister of Finance issued many resolutions and decisions, which required the whole financial sector to review and consolidate its functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure. Reorganise tax, customs and State Treasury agencies, ensuring streamlined, effective and efficient operation, suitable to innovating management methods, reforming and modernizing the sector.
As a result, from 2017 to 2019, the financial sector has cut more than3,700 units from central to local levels; it has decreased some 4,974 payroll targets compared to 2015, equaling a decrease of 6.7 percent, meeting the requirements of the leaders. The results of arrangement and consolidation of units have shown determination to reform the apparatus attached to the reform of administrative procedures of the Ministry of Finance.
This is a good result. Thank to that, the financial sector has been assessed as an example of leading the revolution of organizational structure and payroll. But best of all, there were no complaints duringthe process of implementation, this is truly successful.
To do so, is it easy?
First of all, the prerequisite for success is drastic direction but rational understanding. Minister of Finance DinhTien Dung, when speaking at the major forums of the finance sector, said the implementation of the goal of organizational structure and staff streamlining is prudent but also assertive. The supreme principle is to streamline the arrangement, and keep it stable and professional. The preparation must be uniform in terms of organization and people, ensuring no disruption. This view of the head of finance inspired leaders of all units and systems from the central to local levels. When deployed, the ideological work is put on top. All levels and systems focused on directing the units to carry out the propagation, grasping the ideology of officials and officers, ensuring no major disturbance in the organization and personnel work, as well as no impact on regional budget revenue, people and businesses.
In addition, difficulties and challenges in the process of streamlining are also solved quickly and promptly by leaders at all levels of the financial sector. In fact, the arrangement and streamlining of the apparatus takes place amid a lack of synchronous regulations. Therefore, each ministry, branch and locality has different implementation methods, without a standard model for learning and drawing experiences. As one of the leading ministries, the Ministry of Finance must both implement and seek the direction of competent authorities to make the implementation process, thus it takes longer than expected. Moreover, the arrangement and merger of units in the local system makes the area and object management of the new unit be quite large with long distance, causing difficulties in moving and solving administrative procedures arising daily. For handling, the Ministry of Finance has agreed to issue additional seals, decentralization and authorization to implement the task smoothly.
In any position, the responsibility remains unchanged
How about the facilities ? To find out the root cause, we went to Lai Chau - one of the northern mountainous provinces with unique characteristics in terms of geographical location as well as difficult economy and of course, many units are on the merger list, starting from the Treasury system.
From October 1, 2019, Lai Chau State Treasury has arranged and consolidated the organizational structure, reducing from seven to five departments. So far, the implementation of the duties of the Treasury at all levels in Lai Chau has been carried out smoothly, without delay, congestion or any complaints from customers. All payments made by budget-using units are settled on time and in accordance with regulations, ensuring accurate and timely data.
ChinhChinhDuy received us on a busy day at the end of the year. Previously the Head of the Department of Informatics at the provincial State Treasury, after the Department of Informatics merged with other departments, Duy became Director of the State Treasury of Nam Nhun district. In this poor mountainous province, Nam Nhun is a particularly difficult new district, which is 120km from the centre of the province, it usually takes half a day to get there. Regarding the change, Duywas a little concerned. He said: “The hard thing to overcome is being away from my family and getting used to new jobs in a typical difficult district like Nam Nhun. However, after twomonths of taking on a new assignment, with the support of the leaders as well as the encouragement of colleagues, I caught up in the work and found joy with my friends.”He added: “A new task is a change and challenge. No matter where I work, I will not be afraid of difficulties, I will fulfill my political tasks.”
Luckier than Duy when not being away from his family, Ha Dinh Huynh, who was the Deputy Director of Tan Uyen Tax Department, is now Deputy Director of the Tax Department of Than Uyen - Tan Uyen area. After the two units were merged, he also has to take twice as long, from 20km to 40km to get to work. “With the terrain of Lai Chau province, 40km is not long but you cannot go fast. Moreover, it is very difficult to travel in the evening,” Huynh said. However, officials like him are not afraid of the task. "The whole tax sectorworks positively, which is the motivation to help me and other officials to complete our duties," Huynh said.
Leaving Lai Chau, we travelled hundreds of kilometers of roads curving around small valleys to Pho Bang border gate, Ha Giang. In the middle of a peaceful mountain and forest, Hoang TheKien - Deputy Director of Pho Bang Customs Sub-Department (now Deputy Director of Sam Pun Customs Branch) talked about his work with a gentle voice, like smoke rising in the middle of a cold rocky plateau. Over the past time, the whole Customs branch has merged 14 branches, dissolved one branch, established three new branches and renamed three.
On this list, Pho Bang became a team of Sam Pun Border Customs Branch. “This is the policy of superiors, for customs officers at any unit, they still have to seriously fulfill the assigned tasks. Determining that, the Sub-Department leaders have regularly grasped the feelings of colleagues in the unit to disseminate and propagate the policy of the superiors to each official in the meetings as well as in daily life. Every Customs officer, wherever he is and whatever his charge is, he is still the gatekeepers of the country's economy and the people who are responsible for the borders of the country, so no matter which unit you are in, the responsibility will not change,”Kien said.
His tough words are just like a promise to his sector and his unit, but perhaps, it was his personal advice that made us understand that "one hand is unspeakable”. If there is only the determination from the top down, without sacrifice and determination from the bottom up, the financial sector will not be able to achieve the goods results in such a respectable organizational structure.
Leaving the passages to return to the capital, I suddenly remembered a poem by Uncle Ho:
Travel is to know the difficulties
High mountains then the other ones
High mountains thatseem to last forever
In the eyes were rows of mountains
The whole financial sector has overcome many hardships on the road to reform the apparatus. Although knowing that there is “a row of mountains” ahead as the target in 2021 is to cut at least 10 percent, with that unanimity, I believe that we will cross the highest mountain in the near future, contributing to the overall success of the country.
By Phong Le/KieuOanh