Introduction

Simplifying administrative procedures, as well as saving time, costs and creating favorable conditions for individuals and organizations to carry out administrative procedures are always essential issues which the Government must concentrate on. On April 8, 2020, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc officially signed Decree No.45/2020/ND-CP on implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment (“Decree 45”). This document shows the Government’s impetus to simplify administrative procedures based on the application of the electronic environment. Decree 45 consists of 5 chapters, with 32 articles.

Noteworthy points

  • Definition of “electronic environment” and “implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment”

Pursuant to Decree 45, “electronic environment” is defined as the environment in which information is created, provided, exchanged, collected, processed and stored via the internet, computer networks, information and database systems. In addition, “implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment is the implementation of agencies, organizations and individuals to carry out all, or parts of, administrative procedures via online public services.

Decree 45 provides the new legal basis for the implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment. Thus, such definitions are necessary, as they facilitate the application of new regulations regarding this issue in Vietnam.

  • Principles of implementing administrative procedures on the electronic environment

Article 4 lists out 7 principles which competent agencies, individuals must comply with in the implementation of the Decree. These principles are, as follows:

  1. Administrative procedures conducted via the electronic environment have the same legal validity as other forms as prescribed by relevant regulations;
  2. The receiving and handling of administrative procedures in the electronic environment are carried out legally, rationally and scientifically; to ensure equality, objectivity, publicity, transparency, information security, and building a close cooperation between competent agencies in the administrative process;
  3. The implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment must ensure that organizations, individuals that request the implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment to be the focus, ensuring the language method is easy to understand, easy to implement;
  4. Do not require organizations, individuals to declare and submit data which are already managed by administrative procedure-executing agencies or are willing to be shared by other agencies;
  5. Maximize the implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment to save time, costs and efforts of organizations, individuals and competent agencies;
  6. The implementation of administrative procedures in the electronic environment must avoid incurring costs, fees which are not specified in relevant regulations; and
  7. Complying with Vietnamese laws and international commitment regarding electronic transactions, to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a signatory or has acceded.
  • Process of receiving, handling administrative procedures on the electronic environment

Decree 45 states that the receiving of requests, technical inspections, are conducted through the National Public Service Portal or the Provincial-level Public Service Portal. If the application dossier is valid in terms of the required quantity and format, such service portal will automatically confirm that the organization, individual has successfully submitted.

After the dossier is legally received, officials, public servants will inspect such submitted dossier. The inspection includes: (i) The accuracy of the information declared; (ii) The validity of digital signatures submitted. The verification of digital signatures must comply with the Law on Electronic Transactions.

After checking, if the dossier satisfies all the conditions prescribed by law, the officials, public servants will issue the administrative procedure code. In case the dossier needs to be amended or supplemented, officials, public servants must inform organizations, individuals within a maximum time of 8 working hours from the time of receiving the dossier. The results of the administrative procedures shall be issued in written documents and electronic files to organizations, individuals.

  • Prohibited acts

Decree 45 clearly lists the prohibited acts of officials, public servants receiving, handling administrative procedures in the electronic environment such as:

(i) Preventing the selection of methods to implement administrative procedures in the electronic environment of organizations and individuals;

(ii) Requesting organizations, individuals to submit papers and documents in writing in order to verify and inspect the verified documents in the process of handling administrative procedures;

(iii) Cheating, counterfeiting, appropriating and illegally using electronic identities of competent organizations, individuals, agencies.

Conclusion

With the promulgation of Decree 45, the time and costs of implementing administrative procedures are expected to be significantly reduced. Furthermore, the Decree also creates favorable and effective conditions for competent agencies, individuals in the process of handling administrative procedures. Decree 45 will officially take effect on May 22, 2020.


DISCLAIMER

This LBN newsletter are NOT legal advice. Readers are advised to retain a qualified lawyer, should they wish to seek legal advice. VCI Legal are certainly among those and happy to be retained, yet VCI Legal is not to be hold responsible should any reader choose to interpret/apply the regulations after reading this LBN without engaging a qualified lawyer.