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Party Hints At State Body Downsize

Source: Vientiane Times

The Lao People’s Revolutionary Party has instructed state agencies to reorganise their body structure amid growing public demands for more effective and efficient delivery of public services.

The standing member of the ruling Party Central Committee Secretariat Dr Bounthong Chitmany, signed a Party order on September 29 that instructed Party committees of ministerial-level state agencies and provincial authorities to reorganise their body structures so that they are more effective and efficient.

Despite past successes in the reorganisation of state bodies, a number of challenges remain unsolved. Therefore, there is a need for the Party and state to continue this work and list it as one of the prioritised tasks, the Party said while justifying its intervention in its order.

According to the order, the current structure of state bodies is still too large, while the roles of some state organisations are duplicated by others. As a result, public administration processes remain lengthy, and some of them are unnecessary.

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On top of that, the ratio of civil servants to the population is too high. Some state agencies now have too many civil servants but lack capable officials to carry out prioritised tasks.

Furthermore, the division of responsibilities and rights between central and local authorities is still not clear, and this is one of the main reasons for state services being ineffective and inefficient. All of these factors serve to lead to public complaints about services provided by the state.

While demanding that ministerial-level state agencies and local authorities should restructure their organisations, the Party said they should study the possibility of merging bodies that serve as supporting state organisations (management) bodies into ministerial-level organisations and provincial administrative offices.

On top of that, some organisations, which have similar roles, should be merged into one organisation, while others, which are found to be ineffective, should be abolished so that the number of civil servants can be reduced.

The restructuring of state bodies must be done alongside the adjustment of the working mechanism and methodology, and coordination between different state agencies, in particular between central and local authorities. The ultimate goals of this process include cutting public administration processes so that people can have access to faster and better public services.

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The Party emphasised that one of the most important tasks is ensuring that all Party committees continue to assess the performance of their staff with the aim of identifying outstanding officials with capabilities, competencies and knowledge so that the Party can access references before deploying the right people for the right jobs.

Another key task assigned by the Party to all Party committees is translating the Party’s three-building directives, which aim to build provinces into strategic units, districts into comprehensive and strong units, and villages into developed units.

The government, in particular the Ministry of Home Affairs, has been instructed to work with the Party Central Committee Secretariat to frame detailed working plans for restructuring the ministerial level bodies, so that the Politburo meeting can consider and approve them, according to the Party order.