Thursday, 15/11/2018
The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels intensify social supervision and criticism in response to requirements and aspirations of the people
8/6/2018 16:12' Send Print
Chairman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Tran Thanh Man. Photo: VNA

Perfecting mechanism for social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front

To implement the "Regulations on social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations" and the "Regulations on opinion contribution of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, political and social organizations and the people to building the Party and the administration" issued by Decision No. 217-QD/TW, and Decision No. 218-QD/TW on 12 December 2013 of the Politburo, 11th Tenure, the Standing Board of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and central political and social organizations have held many conferences to disseminate and organized training on social supervision and criticism, and contributed opinions to build the Party and administration for the staff of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and mass organizations from the central level to provinces.

The Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee led the development of the Law on the Vietnam Fatherland Front (amended), then submitted it to the National Assembly for promulgation in 2015, supplementing 2 chapters on social supervision and criticism to institutionalize Decision No. 217-QD/TW, and Decision No. 218-QD/ TW of the Politburo; led and coordinated with concerned agencies and organizations to draft an inter-agencies resolution between the National Assembly Standing Committee, the Government and the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee, detailing Articles 27 and 34 of the Law on the forms of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front which was adopted at the 9th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee, 14th Legislature on 22 April 2017; coordinated with the Government Inspectorate and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor in developing and submitting to the Government for promulgation Decree No. 159/2016/ND-CP, detailing the implementation of the Law on Inspection which is about the organization and operation of the people's inspection board; joined the Ministry of Planning and Investment in developing and submitting to the Government for promulgation Decree No. 84/2015/ND-CP on investment supervision and evaluation, including provisions on the right to supervise public investment of the people, and the community investment supervision boards; joined the Ministry of Finance to develop and issue Circular No.337/2016/TT-BTC, detailing estimation, management, use and draw the balance sheet of fund to ensure social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations.

In addition, the Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front issued Circular No.23/TTr-MTTW-BTT dated 20 July 2017, guiding the process of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, Circular No.25/TTr-MTTW-BTT dated 9 August 2017 guiding the organization and operation of the people's inspection boards and community investment supervision boards at communes, wards and townships; published the Handbook on social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front in order to contribute to overcoming current difficulties and obstacles, helping leaders of all levels understand more about social supervision and criticism and cadres of the Fatherland Front and mass organizations at all levels better grasp the process and methods of social supervision and criticism.

Results of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front

1. Regarding supervision

In recent years, the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations at all levels have synchronously implemented supervision and achieved obvious results. Many proposals made after supervision by the Vietnam Fatherland Front have been promptly responded by advisory offices as directed by heads of the State agencies at the central and local levels and financially assisted.

Supervision programs have been implemented in accordance with guidelines on the supervision process with consensus among members and specific delegation of supervision contents, initially promoting the leading role the Vietnam Fatherland Front, in particular, demonstrating the role and responsibility of the Vietnam Fatherland Front in the implementation of the Constitution and laws in representation and protection of the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of the people, participation in the building of the Party and the State. Result of supervision have attracted the attention of people and the public opinion and have been highly appreciated. These are positive signs in the innovation of the Front’s work.

The supervision of the Vietnam Fatherland Front system has been step by step implemented in an orderly and professional manner with careful preparations in keeping with plans and requirements of supervision. The Front has proactively identified advantages, difficulties and results of activities, and made concrete proposals and proposals on mechanisms and policies. At the end of each supervision mission, a supervision report was produced to notify the results and propose specific proposals to competent agencies, organizations and individuals for policy and regulation amendments and supplements or guidance to agencies and organizations to implement the proposals of the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

Since the Law on the Vietnam Fatherland Front has come into effect and the implementation of the inter-agencies Resolution No. 403/2017/NQLT-UBTVQH14-CP-DCDTWTMTTQVN dated 15 June 2017 between the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, the Government and the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front regulating in detail forms of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee has deployed four forms of supervision which include intensifying coordination with other competent agencies and organizations, such as the National Assembly, the People's Councils and the People's Procuracy at all levels; training to improve the effectiveness of supervision by the People's Inspection Boards, Community Investment Supervision Boards; drawing lessons and experience on the forms of organizing supervision teams; and effectively reviewing research and documents issued by competent agencies relating to the legitimate rights and interests of the people. The Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee has rolled out at the same time 10 joint programs on supervision, focusing on issues of public concern, namely the Joint Program on supervision and improvement of complaint and denunciation settlement at the grassroots level; the Joint Program on supervision of publicizing inspection conclusions; the Joint Program on supervising the implementation of the Resolution of the 6th Plenum of the Party Central Committee, 11th Tenure on science and technology development and the Law on Science and Technology; the Joint Program No. 90 of the Government and the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee on mobilization and supervision of Food Safety in the 2016-2020 period; the Joint Program on supervision of law observance by medical establishments; the Joint Program on supervising the implementation of major tasks and solutions for improving business environment and raising national competitiveness in the tax and customs domains; pilot supervision of "transparency and accountability of heads of district and commune levels in leading and directing anti-corruption work in a number of socio-economic projects in Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces"; regular supervision of cases reported by the media, public opinion and competent agencies relating to the legitimate rights and interests of the people.

The Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee has coordinated with concerned agencies to implement the joint program to measure satisfaction of people and organizations on service provision by state administrative agencies, carry out supervision in line with regulations on coordination with concerned agencies (such as supervision and survey on the implementation of the Government's Resolution on universalization of education, eradication of illiteracy among ethnic minority people, surveys on the teaching of spoken and written languages of ethnic minorities in general education and continuing education centers; supervise and facilitate access to healthcare and social security of religions, among others). In general, supervision activities have been implemented as planned. Overall reports, supervision reports and proposals have been sent to concerned agencies and organizations.

Member organizations of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, especially political and social organizations, have brought into full play their active and proactive role in representing and protecting the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of their members; initially upheld the role of experts, scientists, people of prestige and experience, contributing to improving the quality of supervision of the Vietnam Fatherland Front over the past years.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees in localities have proactively organized supervision and mobilized local resources to carry out supervision activities. The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees in many provinces and centrally-run cities have based themselves on the supervision plans of the Standing Committee to coordinate with political and social organizations, provincial agencies to select and implement supervision programs suitable to local conditions.

Regarding the contents of supervision, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels have focused on some contents in the central supervision programs, and local program as required by local reality such as election and military recruitment, implementation of policies to care for the poor and identification of poor households and sustainable poverty reduction; provision of funds in support of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations according to regulations; policies on support to entitled beneficiaries, ethnic minority people; compensation for land acquisition, compensation for damage; collection, management and use of contribution from students’ parents, and other sources for education in schools. After 3 years implementing Decision No. 217-QD /TW, and Decision No. 218-QD/TW in 63 provinces and cities, most of the districts and communes have conducted supervision according to the needs of localities in close coordination with Party committees and administrations at the same levels; provinces and cities carried out 721 supervision missions; districts organized 6404 missions; and communes organized 49,564 missions.

2. Regarding social criticism, and contribution of opinions to build the Party and the administration

During three years implementing Decision 217-QD/TW and Decision 218-QD/TW, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front conducted selection of public opinion and social criticism on dozens of important draft documents of the Party, the National Assembly, the Government and other competent agencies. The Standing Committee of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front held a number of conferences for social criticism on the Draft Law on Belief and Religion; the Draft Law on Associations; the Draft Law on Amendments and Supplements to some articles of the Penal Code No.100/2015/QH13, the Draft Law on Corruption Prevention (amended), drawing extensive participation with in-depth opinions and social criticism which were highly appreciated by the public; many proposals were accepted by drafting agencies with positive feedback.

Each year, the Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee contributes comments on dozens of draft legal documents, draft programs and projects. In addition, the Front’s member organizations also review many legal documents directly relating to the rights and obligations of their members.

Building on information and opinions collected from social criticism conferences and taking into account the Party lines, the State policies and laws related to comments and social criticism, The Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and its member organizations have selected and proposed rational amendments and supplements to draft laws and programs. Many opinions were approved by drafting committees and adopted by the National Assembly. The opinions and comments have become an important information channel necessary for the Party and the State to consider and make decisions in leadership, management and governance.

The Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Central Committees of political and social organizations have regularly sent representatives to committees drafting laws, ordinances and decrees to make direct contributions of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and its member organizations to the contents and fields related to the Vietnam Fatherland Front and its member organizations on the state apparatus, fundamental rights and obligations of citizens.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels have organized many conference on social criticism and contributed opinions to draft laws as requested by the central drafting agencies, including important laws, such as the Draft Civil Code (amended); the Draft Law on Organization of Local Administration, the Draft Law on Election to the National Assembly, People's Council; the Draft Law on the Supervision of the National Assembly, and the Draft Law on the Promulgation of Legal Documents. In the past 3 years, since the implementation of Decision No. 217-QD/ TW, Decision No. 218-QD/TW of the Politburo the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels organized 30,661 meetings for social criticism, of which 784 in provinces, 4,043 in districts, the and 25,834 in communes.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels have focused on collecting people's opinions, comments and criticism; organized conferences, seminars, and in-depth discussions to make comments and social criticism on draft of documents of the 12th Party Congress. Many comments and criticism were in-depth, demonstrating devotion, enthusiasm, responsibility, representing the will and aspirations of the people, contributing to the success of the 12th Party Congress.

The coordination of counseling and organization of dialogues at all levels has been more regularly conducted by the Vietnam Fatherland Front, focusing on the contents and areas of concern of the people and localities; leaders have shown high accountability; the majority of the opinions were handled at the dialogue meetings, contributing to creating a democratic environment in the political and social life of the whole country. People are able to express their thoughts and aspirations directly to local leaders, and are at ease to concentrate on production and participation in socio-economic development of localities and the country. Over three years of implementation of Decision No. 217-QD/TW, and Decision No. 218-QD/TW of the Politburo, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at local levels organized 90,841 dialogues.

By this time, it is possible to see that supervision and social criticism has become a regular, focused and practical activity. Supervision has been considered as a breakthrough activity of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations to perform the tasks of participating in building the Party and the State, realizing the role the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other political and social organizations in a more substantial, far-reaching, and effective manner. The Vietnam Fatherland Front’s supervision, social criticism and participation in building the Party and administration have contributed to objectively clarify results and limitations in the implementation of policies and laws of the Government and local administrations and organizations. The Front has recommended solutions to implement properly and more effectively policies, regulations and laws, contributing to protecting the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of citizens and organizations, the interests of the State and reduction of law violations. Many proposals from supervision have been seriously assimilated and implemented by agencies, organizations and individuals.

These results have contributed to strengthening mutual affection, promoting democracy and creating social consensus, especially at the grassroots level; thereby, contributing to ensuring and enhancing social security and order, creating conditions for local and national socio-economic development, creating opportunities for the people, and narrowing the gap between people in society.

3. Regarding representing the rights and interests of the people

The Vietnam Fatherland Front is a political alliance and voluntary union of the political organization, political and social organizations, social organizations and prominent individuals representing their class, social stratum, ethnicity or religion and overseas Vietnamese. People of almost all strata are represented by members of organizations in the Vietnam Fatherland Front. This constitutes the characteristic of the Vietnam Fatherland Front which is a broadly representative organization for the people. Therefore, the most suitable channel that the Vietnam Fatherland Front can represent and protect rights and interests of the people is collecting, summarizing and conveying opinions and proposals of voters and people to the Party and State.

Being able to grasp demands of the society, and problems which cause resentments and issues of voters and people’s concern, the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels have made many important proposals and proposals to the Party, State and functional agencies at all levels to improve policies and laws and organize implementation; collected, summarized up and presented opinions and proposals of voters and people at the opening session of each National Assembly meeting. In 2017, for the third and fourth sessions of the 14th National Assembly, the Vietnam Fatherland Front collected 8,806 comments and suggestions of voters and people. In general, the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front have gradually received feedback of ministries and branches on comments and proposals of people and this effort has been highly valued by people and voters.

In addition, the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels have regularly listened to and gathered opinions and proposals of voters and people through the Boards for the Front’s Affairs in residential areas, the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and member organizations at each level. In the first and third quarters of the year, the Standing Board of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee sends reports on the situation and opinions of the people to the Government, the National Assembly, the State President and the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee. Every six months (in May and October each year), the Presidium of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee sends report on opinions and proposals of voters and people to the National Assembly.

Some limitations and causes

Beside the achieved results, there remain limitations in supervision and social criticism. Supervision, social criticism and contributions to build the Party, and the Government conducted by the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and its member organizations in general have not really been systematic and synchronous. Many proposals and petitions of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations during the process of supervision, social criticism and making proposals in many places have not been paid due attention to, or settled and responded by administrations at all levels. Supervision and social criticism’s impacts and effectiveness have not yet been up to expectation. There have been few opinions and comments on the leadership and direction of party committees, party organizations and administrations, as well as on performance of cadres, party members, public employees, civil servants, especially heads of Party committees and organizations.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee and political and social organizations have mainly supervised the activities of economic organizations and non-business organizations; have not yet organized independent supervision of State administrative bodies, people-elected bodies and judicial bodies while mainly joined supervision teams organized by state agencies.

Social criticism in many localities has been implemented slowly and mainly at provincial level, not much at district and commune levels. At many meetings for social criticism, comments and opinions were just like contributions to draft documents, and unclear about methods and ways of implementation to bring about a clear effect.

The staff who work on supervision have not proved up to requirements due to limitations in capacity, qualifications and experience and have been in charge of other tasks at the same time; some of them have not dared to express their opinions, being afraid of confrontation.

The main causes of these limitations are: the institutionalization of the Party's lines and the Constitution on the rights and responsibilities of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other organizations requires assessment in a certain time after implementation, so in the past three years of implementation, institutions have not yet been complete and synchronous. Besides, some party committees’ awareness on the position, role of social supervision and criticism, the rights and responsibilities of the Vietnam Fatherland Front is still incomplete and incomprehensive.

Awareness on supervision of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, political and social organizations at various levels, branches and people is different; coordination with concerned agencies in the implementation of some supervision programs is still difficult and ineffective; monitoring and supervision of proposal follow-up have fallen short of expectation. Synergy of member organizations in social criticism has not yet been fully brought into play. In some places, social supervision and criticism have been nominal with poor quality.

Social supervision and criticism, contribution to building the Party and administration require a high political, and professional level and practical experience, while the staff working on the Front’s Affairs and political and social organizations are not on par with requirements in terms of quantity and quality and have not yet had experience of social supervision.

Funding for the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations at various levels to carry out social supervision and criticism is limited; People's Inspection Boards and the Community Investment Supervision Boards of many localities have faced with difficulties in their work as they have not been allocated with sufficient fund from communes’ budget.

Key tasks in the coming time

For the Vietnam Fatherland Front to fully perform the role of social supervision and criticism in the coming time, it is necessary to focus on the following tasks:

First, continue to perfect relevant legislation

The Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee must actively advise and recommend the institutionalization of the Party lines and viewpoints on the great national unity, the motto "people know, people discuss, people do, people control," the relationship between "Party leadership, State management, and people's mastery," perfect and effectively implement mechanisms and policies to promote people’s role in making decisions on major issues of the country; ensure that all the State powers belong to the people, raise the efficiency and practicality of social supervision and criticism of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and political and social organizations. At the same time, it is proposed to promulgate the Regulation on assimilation of opinions of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, and political and social organizations, the Regulations on contact and dialogue of heads of party committees, and administrations at all levels, and the Regulations on the supervision of political and social organizations and the people over the fostering of ethics of heads, key cadres, party members which is drafted by the Central Commission for Mass Mobilization in coordination with the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

Second, further promote the responsibility of party organizations at all levels in enhancing the role of the Fatherland Front Committees at all levels.

The Party Committees of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and the Central Commission for Mass Mobilization must report to the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee on the situation and results of implementation of social supervision and criticism in the whole political system, so that the Party Secretariat can continue directing in a timely and effective manner through Party organizations at all levels.

The Standing Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and the Central Commission for Mass Mobilization issue guidelines on social supervision and criticism for the period of 2017-2020 in the Vietnam Fatherland Front system and Party organizations at all levels. Annually, the two sides cooperate to review social supervision and criticism so that these activities can be orderly implemented on a complete legal foundation with more effective social impact.

Third, improve the capacity and responsibility of the Fatherland Front Committees at all levels, focusing on grassroots activities

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels must make more efforts, and coordinate to organize dialogue meetings between heads of Party committees, the authorities and the people, give opinions on the leadership and direction of party committees and the Government in socio-economic development, building new rural areas, urban management, environment, food hygiene and safety, settlement of "hot" issues that local people are concerned about; give opinions to cadres, party members, public employees and civil servants on their realization of assigned political tasks, implementation of the Party lines, the State policies and laws as well as local tasks in association with the implementation of the Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, "Some urgent issues on Party building at present," Resolution of the 4th Plenum of the 12th Party Congress "On strengthening the Party building and reorganization; preventing and deterring degeneration of political ideology, ethics, lifestyle, "self-evolution", internal "self-transformation." At the same time, the Front must proactively request the Party Central Committee to promulgate a mechanism on assimilating comments from the Vietnam Fatherland Front, political and social organizations, and regulations on contacts and dialogues of heads of party committees, and administrations at all levels.

The Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees at all levels and political and social organizations should bring into full play the role and mobilize wisdom of members of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, intellectuals and people of different sectors, ethnic groups, religion, scientists, experts, members and people’s support; encourage the media to participate, support and disseminate social supervision and criticism to build the Party and administration. Annually, the Front must develop plans on social supervision and criticism after consulting concerned agencies and organizations, and report to party committees of the same levels. After social supervision and criticism, the Vietnam Fatherland Front at all levels and political and social organizations should soon make written conclusions and proposals on social supervision and criticism to send to responsible agencies, organizations, and individuals; closely supervise and urge for the settlement of issues raised and response from agencies, organizations and individuals. For those agencies, organizations and individuals that fail to consider, settle and respond to petitions, the Front must report to competent authorities for handling.

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This article was published in the Communist Review, No. 906 (April 2018)

TS. Tran Thanh Man, member of the Party Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front