Organizational studies for State apparatus construction and civil servant development during 1990-2015

Over twenty-five years, scientific studies, especially the organizational sciences, have supported the Party and the State theoretically and practically in their policy-making and legislation construction, regarding state apparatus, cadres, civil servants and public employees. These are essentially important functions, duties and operational fields of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and of various organizations and agencies operating on state organization field in ministries, sectors and the Central directly controlled cities and provinces.

          Obviously, from the operational facts of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and the Home Affairs Sector since their start-ups (28 August 1945), state organization is a science about human’s actions and the use of human resource, which is extremely complicated and comprehensive and multi-faceted studies are required. Simultaneously, the most appropriate options, solutions and organizational arrangements should be always drawn out from practices, stemming from realistic life, current status of the country, organizations, localities and institutions; reforms must be done proactively and decisively, innovations must be encouraged and facilitated, yet the Party’s guiding principles must be firmly held. Organizational activities cover an extremely large scale, impact various operational aspects of society, with requirements of maintaining principles, i.e. objectiveness, cautiousness, facilitated democracy, citizen-based, relying on cadres and inspiring officials’ innovations to accomplish tasks.

          Therefore, organizational science plays an important role in state structure and operation, especially shows through state organization activities. State organization is an indispensable field of activities to the state. State organization has a great political, legal, scientific and practical meanings reflected through applications of rules, opinions, principles and scientific requirements and methods into solving state organization tasks, particularly the applications of achievements of organizational sciences into building and perfecting the structure and operation of the state apparatus.

          State organization practices concern applications of regulations and principles of state organization into studies to (i) delineate the optimum state organizational structure, to delimit and clearly identify functions, duties, authorities and managerial and operational mode of state apparatus, (ii) build, manage and utilize efficiently the staff of cadres, civil servants and public employees working in state apparatus; (iii) ensure budget finance and conditions, facilities and techniques for state apparatus operation, etc. State organization, with its scientific nature, is also a field of state operation, which requires its issue to be objectively handled on the base of scientific bases. Thus, state organization science, affirmably, plays important role and position to state organization activities – an indispensable field to the State.

          Regarding public administration reforms (PAR), it is obviously that the majority of PAR contents and tasks directly relating to the content and tasks of state organization science and state organization practices. In order to make reforms happen, to perfect the state administrative apparatus and to make it downsized, effectively and efficiently, guiding principles, opinions, requirements and methodology of state organization science must essentially interpreted into the organizational structure, design pattern and operational mode of state administrative apparatus from the Central to local levels.

In order to reform the civil service and civil servant regime, and to build and enhance the quality of the staff of cadres, civil servants and public employees, opinions and methods on sciences and organization should be importantly utilized in recruitment, training, fostering, evaluation, allocation, arrangement, using and managing cadres, civil servants and public employees. During the course of building and enhancing quality of the staff of cadres, civil servants and public employees, the most important thing is to investigate, evaluate and identify the quantity, quality, structure and standards for titles, professional titles and occupational position for cadres, civil servants and public employees, that form the background for implementation of using, managing and enhancing the quality of the staff. This is the challenging, complicated mission that can only be done successfully once basing on organizational science. For an effective and efficient state apparatus, it is not only to identify the optimum organizational structure for the apparatus, but also need the qualified staff of cadres, civil servants and public employees, and scientific arrangement of work in the state administrative apparatus, an well identified managerial mechanism and ensured necessary conditions for the apparatus to run. The efficient implementation of the above-mentioned missions depends on principles and requirements of behavioral organization theory and theory on organizational system management. 

          Over the 25 years, departments and organizations in the Ministry of Home Affairs together with the state organizational sector and the Institute for State Organizational Science, the hub of scientific activities, have deployed hundreds of ministerial level proposals, tens of proposals, programs, projects and research projects at the State level and ministerial level. Research activities

The research activities are directed towards the preparation for the scientific arguments for the construction of the Resolutions of the Party Central Committee, and for implementing tasks of the Government, and also focused on the functions of the Ministry of Home Affairs and the State Organizational Sector regarding organization and personnel management, building local governments and public administration reforms (PAR), developing the rule-of–law socialist State of the people, by the people and for the people. Scientific research activities have gradually built up essential scientific basis systems in response to, and contributing to raise the consultative quality on, policies and legislation in fields of organizational apparatus, cadres, civil servants and public employees, promoting salary policy, administering associations and PARs. Details as follows:

ISOS has chaired, in cooperation with MOHA’s directly controlled departments, the implementation of eight state-level independent research projects, almost 30 programs and research projects at ministerial level, 15 baseline survey projects[1]. Research projects and projects preliminary delineate fundamental theoretical issues on organizational sciences, operations of state administrative activities in response to requirements of modern smooth unified execution system; scientific bases for administering a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary ministries; organizing local governments; identifying administrative units; reforming managerial mode and arrangements in public service delivery, enhancing socialization in public service delivery; realistic status and renovation requirements in management regimes on cadres, civil servants and public employees in state organizations; job position identification and civil servant structure classification; policies on the staff of cadres and civil servants at grassroots level; mechanism and policies on retaining and treating talented people in civil service; civil servant evaluation methods.

Besides, the Institute for State Organizational Sciences and other directly controlled departments and organizations of the Ministry have implemented baseline sociological projects, providing investigated information, data and practical bases for directly support ministries and sectors in their state management activities in fields of administrative organization, public professional careers, and management of cadres, civil servants and public employees, such as: Investigate realistic status on functions and duties of state administrative organizations, organization and operation of People Committees and People Councils and political system at different levels, about decentralization between central government and local governments; about separation of administrative units; realistic status of the staff of civil servants and public employees; communal cadres and civil servants; realistic status, organization, management of public professional career institutions; realistic status of associations and non-governmental organizations (NGO); realistic of public service management; database of cadres, civil servants and communal cadres and civil servants.

Basing on outcomes from sociological surveys and scientific research projects, the Institute has issued a number of books, some of which are remarkably evaluated such as: The current status in overlapped functions and responsibilities across Ministries, ministerial equivalent agencies, Government agencies and between the Central Government and local levels – Recommendations and Solutions (2002); Public services – Renovation in management and delivery in Vietnam at present (2007); Vietnam State organization (1945-2007); Current Vietnam urban areas (2007), Vietnam administrative organizations yearbook (2009); Legislation on civil servants, civil service of Vietnam and several countries in the world (2012); Major issues on state authority, public administration reforms and public policy analysis (2012). Besides, civil servants and governmental employees of the Institute has joined as chief author or members in tens of books and in hundreds of articles in scientific journals, thematic academic journals, discussion papers in scientific seminars and conferences.

The Institute, in cooperation with other units, assisted MOHA’s Leaders in developing some of the Party’s guidelines and policies on reforming the public administration, organizing the State apparatus, developing the staff of cadres and civil servants in attachments with downsizing, composing the Proposal of perfecting the government at grassroots level to improve quality of grassroots political system (the Resolution of the 5th Congress of the Party Central Committee tenure IX); Reports to the Party Secretariat on “Several theoretical and practical issues on civil society in Vietnam”. The Proposal and the Resolution No.08/2004/CP by the Government on keep enhancing decentralization in state management from the Central government to provincial governments of the Centre directly controlled provinces and cities; the Instruction No.05/2008/CT-TTg by the Prime Minister on improving efficiency in working time at workplace of cadres, civil servants and public employees; the Proposal of building the staff of cadres and civil servant under the PAR MP 2001 – 2010 of the Government; Proposal of Implementing in pilot the non-existence of People Council in governments in rural districts, districts and wards; participating in setting up projections of Law on Cadres, civil servants and Law on Public employees; Proposals to implement the Law on Cadres, civil servants (competitive examinations for rank-upgrading, job position identification methods and the policies for managing and retaining talented people in civil service); the Proposal of Review 30 years of renovations, Proposal of Strengthening the Civil service and Civil servant regime; Piloting the Project of Selection of departmental and divisional managers; and Culture at Workplace, etc. 

Besides scientific studies and sociological surveys, scientific dissemination activities have been strongly emphasized. ISOS collaborated with other units to organize national and international scientific seminars, which contributed to promote research activities, policy-making and scientific knowledge dissemination, state organizational sciences and civil service and civil servant regime. A plenty of thematic conferences were held on building socialist rule-of-law state; roles and functions of the State, Government in mechanism transformation, machinery reforms, arrangements of State apparatus at Central level and local level, and local governance, renovation of civil service and civil servant regime, reforming salary regime, policies for grassroots governmental officials. In order to disseminate and socialize knowledge regarding the State, state organizational sciences, public administrative reforms, over the last years, ISOS has compiled and published a number of books, hundreds of documents providing to managers and leaders. The “Public Administration Reform Newsletter” are regularly published by the ISOS to provide information and PAR experience of foreign countries, introduce leading guidelines of the Party and the State on public administration reforms in order to serve leaders, managers and policy-making officials.

Efforts in informative field and publishing contributed to disseminate and raise awareness of cadres, civil servants and citizens, strongly support MOHA in performing its management function as well as implementation of PARs in order to develop the state apparatus.

Cooperative activities in scientific research were strengthened. The Institute cooperated effectively with a plenty of scientists, managers and experts in various scientific institutions, establishing cooperative exchanges with scientific institutions in various countries. i.e. the UK, Canada, France, South Korea, Japan and China, and embassies of countries in Vietnam and international organizations, i.e. UNDP, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank.  National cooperative activities in scientific studies have been appropriately addressed. Over the years, a staff of scientists from various national scientific institutions, managers and policy-making officials from Ministries and Sector have been gathered in the collaboration with the Institute. Cooperative and information activities promote intellectual values, improve quality of studies, proposals and provide practical consultancy to national renovation policies.

Important contributions to scientific studies, especially of the organizational sciences into the course of development of the MOHA and the Home Affairs Sector are reflected on the following points:

- Prepare scientific arguments for building legal policies on state apparatus, building the staff of cadres, civil servants and public employees and other fields of operation of the Ministry and the Sector.

- Contribute to renovate argumentative style and mindset, enhance qualification of cadres, civil servants in order to better performance regarding consultancy, policy-making, operational capacity and implementation.

- Participate in popularizing and socializing information on state organization, PARs and contribute to uphold awareness of cadres, civil servants, public employees and citizens about this field.

The up-coming period is the one focusing on implementation of the Resolution of the 12th Congress of the Party, with diversified issues to be continuously studies such as construction and perfecting the rule-of-law socialist state, implementing the Constitute promulgated in year 2013, reforming public administration, renovating civil service and civil servant regimes. In that context, the structure and scientific research activities of the Institute should receive enhanced attentions in order to meet the realistic requirements of state management practices regarding public administration reform, remuneration reform, organizing multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoring ministries, building urban and rural governments… The development of sciences will provide essential scientific arguments for the development of strategies, institutions and legislations on state organizational apparatus, improving effectiveness and efficiency in state governance, that contributes to efficiently deploy the political duties assigned to the Ministry of Home Affairs in the upcoming time.

By M.A Le Anh Tuan

Translated by ISF/Giang-Nam