That was recommendation at the 2023 Financial Statistics and Informatics Partnership Conference taking place recently in Quang Ninh. The Conference attracted more than 250 delegates from more than 50 domestic and foreign partner enterprises who have been participating in information technology (IT) and statistics implementation in the finance sector. Being an annual event, however, this year's conference made a strong impression with not only the scale and number of attendees, but also open and straightforward contents exchanged and shared between investors and partners.
Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi making opening remark at the Financial Statistics and Informatics Partnership Conference in 2023. Photo: Quang Minh.
Acknowledging partners' contributions
Delivering report at the conference, Mr. Hoang Xuan Nam, Deputy Director, Department of Informatics and Financial Statistics reviewed the results of IT application deployment at the Ministry of Finance in 2022. Accordingly, on August 8, 2022, at the 3rd meeting of the National Committee on Digital Transformation in 2022, the Ministry of Information and Communications announced the Report on digital transformation assessment results at ministerial and provincial levels in 2021 (Digital Transformation Index - DTI 2021). Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance keeps first ranking in terms of digital transformation in 2021 among ministries and sectors providing public services... This is the second consecutive year (2020, 2021) the Ministry of Finance takes leading position in digital transformation, with a value of 0.6321 higher than the value of 0.4944 in 2020.
In 2022, the system of strategic planning documents and action programs to build the digital Ministry of Finance has been fully promulgated. By the end of 2022, the Ministry of Finance has 799 valid administrative procedures, 100% of the Ministry's administrative procedures have been provided as online public services; The Ministry of Finance has integrated 296/405 online public services of levels 3 and 4 on the National Public Service Portal. Activities to maintain and ensure network information security have been well implemented by units in the Finance sector, without information insecurity incidents. The units have basically deployed full 4 information security layers as under direction of the Prime Minister and guidance of the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The Finance sector has actively participated in the 4th Industrial Revolution, enhanced digital transformation implementation in all fields, therefore, has gained a lot of positive achievements, bringing benefit and efficiency to the whole society, as shortening the time for taking administrative procedures in taxation, customs, treasury,... reducing paperwork, saving time and costs for businesses and people.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy Minister of Finance Nguyen Duc Chi appreciated efforts and contributions of domestic and foreign and information technology (IT) firms, business partners to the Ministry of Finance’s IT applications deployment in recent times.
"Partners have made significant contributions to helping the Ministry of Finance step by step realize the modernization process, in which IT application has performed well as a tool and solution to help professional and administrative procedures reform in the finance sector better serve people and businesses” said the Deputy Minister.
In 2022, units under the Ministry of Finance have coordinated with partners to deploy a huge workload including 200 bidding packages on IT and statistics.
Guidance on mechanisms and policies has ensured uniformity and consistency; Information system of the finance sector has been maintained in stable and continuous operation; Various public service applications have been being effectively exploited and used by state management units, people and businesses, especially in the fields of Taxation, Customs and Treasury.
The Ministry has promulgated 5-year IT application plans of the following units: General Department of Taxation, State Treasury, State Securities Commission.
The information safety and security of the Ministry of Finance has been paid due attention by the leaders at all levels, organized and implemented in a methodical and relatively comprehensive manner, activities to ensure information security have been integrated in all stages related to information and information systems; activities to maintain and ensure information security in the whole sector have been regularly carried out...
According to assessment of the Department of Financial Informatics and Statistics, the above-said results have been contributed, coordinated and implemented synchronously by domestic and foreign partners, who have stood side by side with the Finance Ministry to implement many important projects.
Partners implementing IT applications in the Finance sector have actively researched and regularly updated information related to the Finance sector (organization, functions and tasks) as well as financial professional policies in order to understand, quickly access and grasp professional problems then make appropriate recommendations to management agencies upon computerizing professional problems; Actively discussed and exchanged with units in the Finance industry to determine the specific implementation plan, ensuring the effectiveness, quality and progress of the contract; Worked closely with technology firms to regularly update advanced technology to advise and propose new and appropriate solutions for units in the Finance sector; coordinated closely with the Finance sector in deploying IT applications, training financial staff, assisting in handling technical issues, ensuring synchronous IT application deployment.
Partners have prioritized investing in human resources and infrastructure to provide increasingly high-quality services for the Finance sector. In addition, partners have also focused on researching new technologies of industrial revolution 4.0 such as Internet of Things, Blockchain, Mobility, Cloud Computing, Big Data with data analysis, and Artificial Intelligence to accompany the Finance sector in successfully development of e-Finance towards Digital Finance.
It can be said that partners have made important contributions to the Finance Ministry’s IT application deploying process to implement the Digital Government, better serving for people and businesses, helping the Finance sector to quickly approach the 4th Industrial Revolution, to build e-finance towards Digital Finance.
Limitations need further settlement
In addition to achieved results, the coordination between the Ministry of Finance and partners has shown various limitations that need to be further resolved, specifically: The digital transformation tasks requires fast and timely implementation, however, mechanisms and policies on investment management in IT application and digital transformation take a long time with many procedures (from policy approval, project formulation, feasibility study report, etc… to completion of the project). An IT project takes fast 2 years to deploy, or can last up to 4 years and the technologies can become old and out of date upon project completion.
Although the Government has issued many documents guiding the research and application of digital technology products of the 4th industrial revolution, preparation of estimates still faces many difficulties due to inadequacy of unit prices and norms for those products. In addition, a number of regulations on IT estimation, procurement and bidding act only as guiding documents (Dispatch 2589/BTTTT-UDCNTT dated August 24, 2011 of the Ministry of Information and Communications on guiding the determination of costs for internal software development and upgrades, ...), not as a legal document with eligible grounds for implementation.
Since the new national bidding system is still being improved, the Ministry of Finance and its units face difficulties and obstacles when organizing biddings on the new national bidding system, specifically : using digital certificates and digital signatures of Party and State agencies when organizing bidding according to legal regulations (the new national bidding system has not supported and integrated digital signature authentication services provided by organizations providing the Government specialized digital signature authentication services), various contents needed to declare on the webform of the new national bidding system are inconsistent with bidding regulations (Circular No. 08/2022/TT-BKHĐT ,...) or not feasible during actual implementation.
Various enterprises participating in bidding have not updated the changes in Circular No. 08/2022/TT-BKHĐT and the new national bidding network system, specifically: changes in how to evaluate similar experience of personnel, type of goods specified under the HS code,...
A number of documents stipulate inconsistent contents: According to the Circular No. 62/2022/TT-BTC dated June 22, 2020 of the Ministry of Finance guiding the control and payment of regular expenditures from the State Budget through the State Treasury, the procurement of goods must comply with "The bidding unit price must not exceed the estimated unit price approved at the decision on asset procurement ". However, the Clause d Article 42 and Clause e Article 43 of the Law on Bidding stipulates that a contractor being an organization shall be considered and proposed to win a bid when satisfies all conditions, in which: "The bid-winning offer price does not exceed the approved bidding package price”. Therefore, regulations under Circular No. 62/2022/TT-BTC are not consistent with the Law on Bidding, causing difficulties in organizing procurement.
Implementation of several bidding packages takes longer time than original schedule due to complex technical specification, relating to professional requirements. A number of contractors, due to limited personnel capacity and lack of clear understanding of the financial professional process, have to prolonger the contract implementation by asking for extending the contract performance period, especially to consulting and software building and upgrading contracts.
In addition, legal documents guiding the construction and implementation of IT tasks and projects still need to be further improved, leading to difficulties for financial units in organization thereof; specifically: guidance on determining direct costs of developing, upgrading and expanding internal software, methods of calculating estimates for outsource of IT services under specific requirements, payment methods, and norms for hardware installation,...
Cooperation opportunities to all partners
In 2023-2025 period, the Finance sector will focus on implementing large-scale projects with coverage over the entire sector, such as: The centralized tax management replacing system to meet requirements on re-design of profession processes; Construction and implementation of data analysis and risk management system, One-stop Customs system; Construction of IT system for implementing digital customs to meet professional requirements on customs clearance; Construction of Digital Budgeting and Accounting System (VDBAS), database systems for state securities, reserves.
In 2023, the Ministry of Finance expects to deploy 113 IT bidding packages.
The Ministry of Finance suggested that partners shall study the regulations on IT application deployment in state agencies, propose overall solutions to help the financial sector implement IT application effectively and efficiently.
Partners shall carefully study the Decree No. 40/2020/ND-CP, Decree No. 73/2019/ND-CP and guiding documents thereof, the Law on Bidding, documents of financial professions; carefully study bidding document, specification upon participating in bidding, in order to well prepare bidding submission documents, prevent from invalid dossiers and request for clarification.
Partners shall research to update the most advanced technologies, especially technologies of the 4th industrial revolution such as: Business Intelligence (BI), Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), proactively advise and propose the most suitable application solutions for financial profession management.
Partners shall actively coordinate with units under the Ministry of Finance for prompt settlement of difficulties arising during IT project implementation.
Partners shall increase investment in resources, invest in training high-quality personnel who are good at technology and have a deep understanding of financial operations; arrange appropriate personnel to ensure quality, progress of bidding packages implementation.