Promoting the private sector’s role in public service provision (15/05/2019)

Encouraging enterprises to participate in the provision of public services is one of the solutions for state agencies to focus on building and improving institutions and management mechanisms. This was also an important content presented at the conference "the private sector’s role in public service provision" by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) collaborated with the US Agency for International Development ( USAID) to held in the morning of May 15 in Hanoi. Secretary General of Vietnam Laboratories Association – Mr. Nguyen Huu Dzung attended and presented a presentation on the content of "the socialization of scientific and technological services: It is very necessary - Heart and mind of managers".

View of the conference 

Private changes public service quality

Speaking in the opening of the conference, Chairman of VCCI - Mr. Vu Tien Loc said: "Health and education can be conducted by private, society, so why is not private allowed to take part in trade promoting, investment and business development, training connection activities ...?  ".

Chairman of VCCI said also that breaking the state monopoly and subsidy in public services provision, mobilizing the participation of the private in public services provision will bring many benefits. In particular, the most important benefit is to "draw" the state out of unnecessary public services, narrow the state management apparatus according to its core functions. The state apparatus should focus on building and improving the institutions. The Institution is the determining factor of national competition. This matter need to be focused on primary care by the state agency.

Mr. Vu Tien Loc affirmed that the private is allowed to provide goods and services to the society has brought many practical benefits. In the retail industry, subsidized state-owned shops have been replaced by the private’s supermarkets, markets, shops, and commercial centers countrywide. Hundreds, thousands of taxi, passenger cars, contract cars, container cars, and trucks private enterprises have been placed for serving most needs of society.

Mr. Vu Tien Loc speaking at the conference 

In some sectors which are considered "playgrounds" of state-owned enterprises or non-business units such as conformity certification services, airports, seaports, transport infrastructure and aviation, electricity, health, education, sports, cinema, notary, etc. have been also participated by the private.

According to Mr. Dau Anh Tuan, Head of Legal Department (VCCI) “The participation of private enterprises in public service provision has contributed to increasing investment capital for economic development, improving the management level, creating a competitive force so that all units want to provide services, they must make efforts to provide good quality with reasonable price ”.

Regarding to the presentation: "Demand and practice of providing public non-business services in Vietnam: good experience and barriers", General Secretary of VinaLAB Association Nguyen Huu Dzung said "Socialization of scientific and technological  services: It is very necessary - heart and mind of managers.

Accordingly, the current management mechanism still exists a number of limitations, directly affecting the enterprise’s activities, including the instability of the law; discrimination between private organizations and state organizations.

Mr. Dung gave an example: Before 2017, aquatic breeds production establishments must audit conformity certification with production conditions in accordance with QCVN 02-15: 2009 / BNNPTNT. When the Fisheries Law (2017) comes into effect, the conditions of aquatic breeds production must be certified as certification of production conditions and implemented by the state management agencies (with decentralization to localities).

At the time before February 2, 2018, food products must be published regulation conformity and enclosed registration of conformity certification service. But after this date, when the Government issued Decree No. 15/2018 / ND-CP on stipulating food products are not required to have certificate of conformity certification activities of food in general and  VinaCert’s food in particular are also almost abolished.

Thus, in order to deploy the mentioned above conformity certification services, certification organizations had invested in training auditors, testing systems, etc., but after only one night, all of those investments have become nonsense, that is the most fear of investors.

Citing the discrimination between the private organizations and the State organizations, Mr. Dung said: Although the Decision 97/2009 / QD-TTg issued on July 24, 2009 by the Prime Minister on stipulating specify whether the private is allowed to establish a science and technology organization to perform accreditation services, but it is mentioned that the operation conditions of the accreditation organization are Non-business units according to the Law on Standards and Technical Regulations (2006), therefore, the management agency defaults to the fact that the non-business unit is a state unit, so the private had registered its activities (with a certificate of business registration in 2009) but it is not still operated, and must change  business sectors.

Building Law must be based on trust

Based on the analysis of shortcomings and limitations on management mechanisms, Mr. Nguyen Huu Dzung said that, in order to socialize public services in general, science and technology services in particular and these activities become a driving force for the development of society, it is necessary – heart and mind of managers.

In order to do that, building the law must be based on trust, the legal provisions are humanistic and easy to apply to life. At that time, the law becomes a general rule, orienting the subjects to choose appropriate behaviors.

If, building the law in the spirit of prohibition, permission / not allowed, then surely people will circumvent the law to make it most beneficial for themselves.

A particular feature is the science and technology service organizations often have an educated and qualified workforce, so the labor force in these organizations is very reactive to the forced provisions, not bring any benefit to society. When there are any questions, the state management agencies explain that is the provisions according to law ...  according to Article a of Decree X, Article b of Circular Y. However, we understand that Decree X,  Circular Y were drafted by whom…, but hides of a huge shadow is "Law".

Mr. Nguyen Huu Dzung presenting at the conference

"We have been obsessed with Karl Marx's sentence:" If the profit was up to 300%, then hang up the capitalist, they would also do it. " But in fact that the sentence does not have to be understood literally as " capitalist" is ready to die for profit, all for profit, but to understand, the image of "hanged by capitalist" that Marx wants to imply is a "negative". That is, capitalists who are willing to deny themselves for development, and "profit" are just a way of speaking, a way of simulating development. In other words, for a profit, a person who is a former enemy is now ready to be a friend; they are manufacturing this method but because of the profit, they are ready to change production method. It is to show the dynamism of capitalist, so we should not be afraid of socialization for the private, for the sake of profit, the private readily do anything wrong ”, Mr. Dung said.

 “We have to know that, for the private, when they set up an organization, that is all their life. If the mistake is that they have to pay with money immediately and may have to pay with their careers and fame. They will not be reprimanded, learned experiences, changed their jobs, etc. so they do not easily compromise with the wrongdoing. They are the people who have the desire to do the right thing and the lawmakers try to create conditions for them to do the right thing, ”According to Mr. Dzung.

The state does not "embrace the business" of the enterprises

Analyzing the view that "The State does not embrace the business of enterprises", Mr. Dung said that this opinion has been mentioned by the Government and many senior leaders, however, in fact, the "hug" of the business is shown very much in the guidance documents.

According to Mr. Dung, private who want to get the most profit should be creative to improve their profits. Therefore, in order to make the most of social resources, what can be done by the private, allowing private to do. It is said that private investors do not have enough financial resources to invest in high-tech testing (with equipment worth up to USD millions), but if there is a guarantee mechanism, there is only a chance of profit then the bank will support. The state do not worry about lacking money of the enterprises.

Point of view on how to promote recognition of conformity certification results of conformity certification organizations (accreditation, certification, inspection, testing, calibration), Secretary General of VinaLAB said that at present, Vietnam 's conformity certification organizations are strong enough, state management agencies should use the conformity certification results of conformity certification organizations in the state management work

In the world, recognition of conformity audit results is common. Vietnamese legal documents stipulate the recognition of conformity audit results of foreign conformity audit organizations, but the evaluation results of domestic conformity audit organizations are not acknowledged. This recognition not only reduces costs and saves time for businesses, but also reduces administrative procedures in implementing public services.

Promoting the role of professional associations

According to Mr. Nguyen Huu Dzung, the role of professional associations in the field of scientific and technological services is still very faint, there is no real cohesion and has not been shown yet its role in society.

 “Because the influence of these associations with state management agencies is still very low. In fact, there are many things that management agencies can assign these associations to implement such as: building standards; Organizing training, issuing certificate, etc., the management agency only needs to check and control. It would be wise to know how to exploit and utilize social resources for management work ”, according to General Secretary of VinaLAB.

Along with step by step plan for the operation of conformity audit organizations, Mr. Dzung also proposed to promote the establishment of a database of conformity audit results. Accordingly, it is necessary to have a database in the field of conformity audit updated according to JUST IN TIME (timely) principle, etc.

The speech of General Secretary Nguyen Huu Dzung received the support and sharing of representatives of associations, professional associations, independent auditors, representatives of state management agencies, ...

 “The state will further strengthen the role of orientation, create mechanisms and effectively monitor for the private sector when participating in public service investments, so that this sector has more opportunities and effective activities when investing in public services, ”according to Mr. Vu Tien Loc.


Chairman of VCCI, Vu Tien Loc met with leaders of some enterprises, had lunch in the office and discussed more about private sectors that could participate in providing public services; policy mechanism of the state to encourage private to participate in public service provision, etc.

Based on the comments of representatives of enterprises, associations, independent auditors ... at the conference; Summary of theory and practice, ... Mr. Vu Tien Loc said, he will synthesize and propose to the Government to have an appropriate mechanism for the socialization of public services.


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