ISO Standards Applied to Smallest Administrative Unit

Ward 2 is the only basic administrative unit selected by the Ben Tre Township to carry out a pilot program to implement the TCVN ISO 9001:2000 in the quality control system for its daily administrative service activities.

The basic purpose of implementing the ISO standards in administrative services is to install and maintain the TCVN 9001:2000-based quality control system in an administrative organization such as the Ward 2 People's Committee in order to create a scientific way of work, thence ensure the work quality, enhance the service substantiality for better connectivity between the government and the people.

The ISO implementation at the Ward 2 administration unit has been kicked start since June, 2006. At first stage, it is implemented in two administrative areas of marrage certificate issuance and construction licences granting.

Implementation of ISO in bureaucratic precedures is not much different from that following the one-door mechanism, that is, in-coming and out-going documents are all passing through just one place; and procedures, processing time, and many kinds of fees are also posted all on a notice board for public reference.

The only difference between the two types of bureaucratic implementation is in the process of handling the documents. In the ISO system, such as in the construction licencing process, for example, not only is the processing time declared but which department or office carrying out what part of the process and in how long has also to be clearly stated.

One of the most important requirements of the ISO implementation is to ensure the quality of work and its process.

On that background, Ward 2 has set up its own basic criteria and vowed to throw full strength at putting them into real life. As an example, the Ward is said to ensure 100% of in-coming documents to be recorded and referred to specialised divisions within the workday.

Ward 2 is also said to be chosen to deploy another pilot program of online document issuance through an intranet system, so that the administrative works at the Ward is said to be far easier and more convenient to carry out in the future.

The human factor is thought to plays the most crucial role in adopting the ISO standards to the administrative services. In that, civil services personnel are required to have the responsibility, competency and skills necessary to fulfil their duty. They are required to be patient and reserved, be articulate, friendly, active and flexible in dealing with citizens. In contrast, accordicng to the ISO criteria, a civil servant is not considered ISO standardized if he or she has an indifferent or inattentive attitude in dealing with citizens. Also, it is not acceptable for a civil servant to be inflexible, impatient, unreserved, and irrespective of citizens.

Thanks to good outcomes, the preliminary implementation of ISO standards into administrative services in Ward 2 has drawn the backing of the people. A recent poll in Ward 2 has shown a majority of local people said they were quite pleased with the ISO services.

ISO certificates for the marrage certificate issuance and construction licences granting areas of administrative services were granted to Ward 2 by the Vietnamese Directorate for Standards and Quality (STAMEQ) on February 8, 2007.

Translated by Truong Hung

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