January 19, 2018

On 17th-18th April, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia supported the Institute for Legislative Studies (ILS) to organize a conference about the ‘Making the Law on Organisation of Local Government on the base of the new Constitution to ensure feasibility and appropriateness with the current situation’.

Participants from different provinces and institutions discussed about how the Law on organisation of Local Government should be constructed. The first speaker Mr. Vo Kim Son from the National Academy of Public Administration held a speech about constructing the law to ensure a diversity of models in order to enhance the performance of local government. In his opinion, how to divide administrative territorial units, relationships between the local government agencies with constituents are two important factors in making laws. Ms. Nadja Charaby from RLS Vietnam, talked about the organisation and operation of the local government in Germany, the relations between them and the Federal Government. She introduced and explained about their competence and how the complicated system runs well. Dr. Duong Thanh Mai from the Ministry of Justice gave her opinion about how decentralization problems can be organized to go in accordance with the amended, supplemented Constitution. Dr. Nguyen Van Cuong from the Ministry of Justice identified the difference between rural and urban areas and its criteria of forming local government models. Mr. Nguyen Van Me, Former Head of the Hue MPs delegation, gave some suggestions and recommendations about how to organise the local government and the jurisdiction of the People’s Councils and People’s Committee. Ms. Do Thi Hoang, Head of the Quang Ninh MPs delegation shared some experiences in organising the local government of special administrative-economic zones in her home province as well as raised a question about the Article 111: Is it needed to organise local governments at all levels? Dr. Truong Dac Linh from the University of Law, Ho Chi Minh City suggested adding some Articles about the ‘comprehensive local government’ definition and distinguishing between rural and urban areas, he also compared the present law with Ho Chi Minh’s ideology. Mr. Vu Hung from Danang People’s Council proposed to add definitions and features of local governments in island areas and suggested the participants should have had a draft of the local government law before the workshop takes place, so they could raise their opinion at the workshop and accelerate the legislative process. On 18th April, Dr. Vu Hong Anh of the ILS explained the local government model in Ho Chi Minh City and raised his questions about the competences of all levels; in his point of view, constructing the local government model must base on the areas’ feature whether it’s rural, urban or island. MA Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lan from the National Academy of Public Administration gave some international samples of how local government works in special administrative-economic zones such as Shenzhen and proposed to construct a Law on Organizing Local Government in special administrative-economic zones. As the last speaker, Dr. Nguyen Cuu Viet pointed out the weak sides, obstacles, and the problem of mismanagement, considering quantity is more important than quality and the old-fashioned model. He urged to construct a new consistent and appropriate law.

The conference did benefit from the diversity of speakers, their different opinions and perspectives. A lot of information and suggestions were given to the participants that leaded to many passionate discussions. The discourse about local government organisation law should definitely be continued.

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