Dec 6, 2012

Vietnam - The “IT power” project still doesn’t have money to run

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VietNamNet Bridge – The goal of building an e-government, a component of the plan on developing Vietnam into an information technology (IT) and communication power in the world may be unattainable due to the lack of money, labor force and other problems.

The national program on utilizing IT in the operations of state agencies in 2011-2015 in order to build up an e-government is considered a “mammoth project,” which comprises of 50 national component projects, 300 online public administrative services.

The total expenses to run the program are estimated to reach 1700 billion dong for five years of implementation.

Two goals have been set up for the program. First, IT is utilized at state agencies to improve the operation efficiency and make different agencies connectable. Second, online public administrative procedures are believed to help people and businesses better served.

The lack of money would be the biggest obstacle to the implementation of the program.

When the program was launched in late 2010, Vietnam’s national economy, which is a part of the world’s economy, began falling into big difficulties due to the global financial crisis. This then forced the government to take all possible measures to curb inflation and stabilize the economy.

The Resolution No. 11 dated February 24, 2011, stipulated that Vietnam needed to cut down public investments to ensure that the high inflation can be congested. This also means that the budget for the national IT utilization at state agencies has been cut down, while money has been disbursed dribs and drabs.

It is estimated that the program needs 1700 billion dong for the implementation. Meanwhile, in 2011 and 2012, only 200 billion dong was disbursed. It is expected that some 100 billion dong would be spent this year.

Since 2011, no new IT projects have been approved, while the state budget has only been allocating budget to the half-finished projects. As such, the ambitious plan has made no considerable progress.

Bigger difficulties await local agencies

The southern province of Long An is believed to have a lot of achievements in utilizing IT at state agencies and providing online public services. Leaders of the province have promised to create most favorable conditions to develop the infrastructure and renovate the public services.

However, the Long An Department of Information and Communication itself has admitted that the project has been going very slowly due to the limited budget. Some kinds of services still have not been put into operation, while the services in use still cannot run effectively.

Director of the Dien Bien City Information and Communication Department, Chu Xuan Truong said frankly that nothing has been done within the framework of the IT power plan, simply because of the lack of money and the labor force.

In general, there are three main reasons behind the slow implementation of the projects, including the asynchronous connection of IT systems, the lack of money, and the weak investments in localities which has made the systems unconnected.

However, experts believe that the first and the third reasons have also been caused by the lack of money, which means that the limited budget is the main cause behind all the problems.

The Ministry of Information and Communication has proposed the Government not to apply the measures on restricting public investments in some key component projects of the “IT power” national program

However, it’s still unclear if the proposal is approved.

Buu Dien

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