E-Government Construction: Safety First

11:18:44 AM | 7/25/2019

E-Government construction must ensure absolute security and safety: “Who is responsible for controlling this issue?”, “Security must be placed above all,” “If insecure, it will never be carried out,” said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

On July 23, PM Phuc chaired the Online Conference of the National Committee on e-Government with Steering Committees for e-Government Construction, and central and local officials.

Delivering an opening keynote speech, the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee for e-Government Construction, said this is a new job and a challenge that needs to be reviewed and improved regularly.

On March 7, 2019, the Government issued Resolution 17/NQ-CP on some key tasks and solutions for e-Government development in 2019-2020 and to 2025, which assigned 83 specific tasks to ministries and central agencies. Until now, they have basically issued plans for implementation of Resolution 17 and achieved initial results.

Presenting a brief report on e-Government construction and activities of the Committee, Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, Secretary General of the Committee, said, some significant systems for deployment of e-Government have been operated, including the National Text Communication Axis and the Government Meeting and Workflow Information System. Major contents of the National Public Service Portal have also been implemented.

The upgrading has been basically completed for the national database on administrative procedures, solutions for centralized authentication and listing of essential public services for the life cycle of a person and enterprise to be launched on the National Public Service Portal.

The facility will be tested in September 2019 and officially operated in November 2019. In addition, the Government Office is actively coordinating with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to launch the national reporting information system and the Steering and Administration Center of the Government and the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister asked delegates at the meeting to focus discussions on the implementation of Resolution 17, especially difficulties and shortcomings in implementation, as well as specific tasks assigned to central and local agencies.

It is necessary to draw lessons from working practices by central and local agencies. Finding out the best, most economical, safest, most effective way to serve people and serve development is a big question,” he said.

He proposed solutions to ensure consistency in methods, unified and synchronous connectivity between central and local authorities.

“Otherwise, if we fail to connect after we launch it, the matter will be very complicated then. Different models, different methods and different equipment are very big problems.” This is one current concern that needs to be handled thoroughly.

In last months of 2019, the Prime Minister will place emphasis on the task of concentrating on interconnectivity and electronic document delivery, as per the Prime Minister's Decision 28, building information systems for directing and operating national database, public service portals, ministerial and provincial single-window electronic information systems that deliver Level 3 and Level 4 online public services according to the list issued by the Prime Minister and readily-connecting and sharing capabilities with the National Public Service Portal.

Recently, e-Government and e-administration development has been spontaneous and lacks centralized leadership. Thus, central and local agencies use different software and databases, resulting in potential risks of duplication, wastefulness, incompatibility, disconnectedness and non-synchronization. Cybersecurity is still a worrying issue, although it is given more attention.

From the above analysis, the Prime Minister clearly stated the vision for building e-Government, digital Government and digital economy. These are three different levels of development. They are not carried out in sequential order, e.g. not Level 1 and then Level 2, but Level 1 may already have elements of Level 2 and Level 3. E-Government construction needs to address four relationships, including two external relations (Government to citizens, Government to business) and two internal relations (Government agency to government agency, Government to public employees). Internal relations must be done well before external relations.

E-Government goals are to provide digitized public information and services for all, anytime, anywhere; strengthen publicity, transparency and corruption resistance; enhance public participation in the decision-making process of the Government.

In principle, it is necessary to ensure interconnection, no duplication, scalability and cybersecurity. Implemented projects must ensure network security and cybersecurity by a competent and responsible unit.

E-Government construction must place people at the center, take public convenience and satisfaction as the target and ensure that no one is left behind. Public services on digital platforms must be convenient. If people do not use them and businesses and agencies do not use them either, e-Government fails and investment is wasteful.

Regarding the approach and methodology of e-Government construction, the Prime Minister noted the close use of public-private partnership methods.

“What has been developed and run well must be interconnected. What has not been done will be done in a new way, that is, building common platforms for provinces, ministries and branches to avoid waste, deploy synchronously and quickly in the way that the Government invests in or leases these platform services,” he said.

The Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Information and Communications to be responsible for coordinating proposals for shared platforms of e-Government and for investment plans or service leasing plans to submit to the Prime Minister for approval. The ministry was reminded to redesign public service delivery processes for better applicability and online delivery; give first priority to essential public services for people and businesses. Data is a resource in the digital economy, a core matter in digital transformation and in e-Government. Therefore, the Ministry of Information and Communications is responsible to the Government for data management.

The Prime Minister required concerned agencies to focus on the construction process to put the National Public Service Portal into operation, expected in November 2019.

The Prime Minister has designated the Ministry of Information and Communications to collaborate with the Government Office and the Working Group of the Committee to assess risks and propose solutions to mitigate risks in the implementation process. “Any agency, any locality or any person who refuses to work, argues to refuse to do and causes slowness must be reported to the Prime Minister to get reviewed, reminded, urged and handled so as to bring this work to success,” said the Prime Minister.