Non-Governmental Organizations Civil Society Development in Vietnam

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Viet Nam Handicapped
Working Reference:
NGo ICivil society Devetopment in
Vietnam
812004
Developed by:
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This working Reference is. a developing literature surve! on NGo/civil society development in Vietnam. The conlents are excerpts from various legal documenrs, commentary, and research papers. This document is only a compilation of researclr materials and opinions were neither draftecJ by nor represenlative.of rne opinions or VNAH or its staff.
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Viet Nam Assistance for the Handicapped
Working Reference:
NGO lGivil Society Development in
Vietnam
8t2004
Developed by:
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This Working Reference is a developing literature survey on NGO/Civil Society development in Vietnam. The contents are excerpts from various legal documents,
commentary, and research papers. This document is only a compilation of research
materials and opinions were neither drafted by nor representailve of the opinions of
VNAH or its staff.

Table of Gontents
Table of Contents
General Overview of NGO development and mass Organizations in Vietnam…. Vietnam Union of science and rechnology Associations (VUSTA)
Civil Society and NGOs in Vietnam.
Decree 88…………
Comment – Decree No. 88/2003/ND-Cp
DECREE 88 – Operation of Association (Juty 2003)
CIRCULAR No. 01/2004/TT-BNV lmptementation of Decree 88 …
Decree 79- Grass Roots Democracy
Comment – Decree 79- “Grass roots” democracy decree-
DECREE No. 79l2003/ND-cP Exercise of Democracy in the communes ….
CIRCULAR No. 12|2004/TT-BNV Guiding the tmplementation of Decree 79
4
I
11
11
lz
23
JI
31
31
42
Decree 29 – Regulations on the exercise of democracy in communes …… 51
Comment – Decree 2911998- Regulations on democracy in comrnunes………5j
DECREE 2911998 – Regulations on of democracy in communes …….s2
Decree 25…. …….62
Comment – Decree 25IND-CP -Support Centers (2001) ……62
Decree 177- Charity Funds.. ………..63
Comment – Decree No.177- Regulation on charity funds (1999) ………..63
DECREE 17711999/ND-CP – Regulations on Charity Funds.. ..63
Decree 35- Scientific Organizations ……..69
Comment – Government Decree No 35 (1992) ………69
DECREE 35/CP in 1992 on Some Measures to Encourage Scientific and
Technological Activities (hardcopy only) ..69
Law on Science and Technology (2000) ………70
Association Law of 1957. ……… g7
Comment – The Association Law – President Order (1957). …”…..97
Association LAW (1957). ……87
Comment – Decision No. 340/TTg INGO regulation (1996) ….90
The 1992 Constitution …………91
Comment – The 1992 Constitution …”……91
The Vietnam Constitution of 1992.. ……91
First Source Document Status List … 105

General Overview of NGO development and mass Organizations in Vietnam
A large part of the third sector organisations in Vietnam is formed and run under the guidance of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, which can be classified in six large blocks:
1. Social organisations such as Vietnam Association of Elderly, Vietnam Red Cross, oln
2. Political organisations such as the Communist party of Vietnam, socio-political organisations, consisting of five large organisationi:
. Vietnam Confederation of Labour
. Ho Chi Minh Communist Union of youth
. Vietnam Women Union
r Vietnam Peasant Union
. Vietnam War Veterans Association
3. Socio-professional organisations including unions and associations like Vietnam Union of Sciences and Technology Associations, Vietnam Union of Associations of Art and Literature, Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations, etc;
4. Professional and business organisations including Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and other associations like the Association of Gardeners, Association of Bee Producers, etc;
5. Other informal organisations like association of school mates, association of chess players, etc.
Socio-political sphere
Allthese organisations have branches/units in allthe 64 provinces,622 districts and 10,511 communes in the country. The government provides 100% of the operating costs of allthe socio-political organisations. Leaders of these organisations at central, provincial and district levels receive monthly salary and their benefits as government employees.
The members of commune Fatherland Front do not receive any salary, but a symbolic allowance from the relevant local government. In most communes, members of VFLF, especially presidents and vice-presidents, are retired government employees with a monthly pension.
However, in case of the War Veterans Association and the Association of Elderly, only leaders at central level receive salary and benefits. The government employees who are selected to be leaders of a socio-political unit in the institution/factory where they work, receive an additional allowance to their monthly salary for their production/service.
Socio-professional sphere or Associations
Including Socio-professional organisations; Professional and business organisations
including; and Other informal organisations.
Thousands of associations operate at the district and commune levels. These associations

havebeenestab|ishedinaccordancewiththeRegu|ations10@
setting up an association) issued on 20 May 1957.
https://www.asianphilanthropy.org/countries/overview detaili.cfm?countrv=iS&id:2
Members of the VFLF
1. Vietnam Comunist Party
2. Vietnam Labour Federation
3. Vietnam Peasant Association
4. HO Chi Minh Communist Union of Youth
5. Vietnam Women Union
6. Vietnam War Veterans Associations
7. Vietnam Army forces
B. Vietnam Union of Science and Technology associations
9. Vietnam Literature and Arts associations
10. Vietnam Union of Peace and Friendship .
1 1. Vietnam Cooperations
12. Vietnam Youth Associations
1 3. Vietnamese Lawyers Associations
1 4. Vietnam Journalist associations
15. Red Cross Vietnam
16. Traditional Medicine Association of Vietnam
17. Vietnam GeneralAssociation of medicine and Pharmacy
18. Vietnam Association of Historians
19. National Association of Vietnamese Gardeners
20. Hoi Sinh vAt c6nh Vi6t nam
21. Vietnam Budhism Associations
22 Commitee of Christianity Solidarity of Vietnam
23. Vietnam Protestant Association
24. Blind Association
25. Disabled and Orphans Protection Association
26. Family Planning AssociationVietnam association for education promoting
27. Associations of Elder People
28. Accupu nture Association
29. Vietnam Chamber of Commerce
Source:
://www. mattran. oro. vn
Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA)
Recently, to facilitate coordination, the Government encouraged the associations to unite in
Unions. Thus three large unions have been formed. The largest is the Vietnam Union of
Sciences and Technology Associations (VUSTA). Vietnam Union of Science and
Technology Associations (VUSTA) was established under Decision 121lHDBf dated 29
July, 1983 by the Council Of Ministers (now Government) of Socialist Republic of Vietnam
.At the time of foundation, there were only 15 members within VUSTA. Now the number
has already reached 85, of which 52 are Disciplinary Associations at the central level and
33 unions of Science and Technology Associations at the local level. lt can be confirmed
that VUSTA has developed very rapidly in its system. The member associations operate in
accordance with their regulation but also with respect to VUSTA’s Status and are subject to

the direction and supervision of the Central
Party and Government have given much attention to and appreciate the activities of VUSTA’ This is indicated in decree 45lCTlTW of the Political Bureau of the party,s Central Council regarding the acceleration of the operation of VUSTA and in the Decree 14120001CT-TTg of the Prime Minister on ” the lmplementation of the Measures to Increase and lmprove the Effectiveness of the Operation of VUSTA,,
Source
https://www.vusta vn/e n/general_introd uction/index. asp
lcoNT.l
The VUSTA currently has 51 central discipline associations and 32 local unions of associations of provinces and cities. Besides, vusTA has under its umbrella 73 institutions for research, training and application of scientific and technological renovations. The youngest association – Vietnam Associations of Young Scientisf Engineers was established in August 2004 under the Decree BB and had included the Vietnanrese overseas as members.
During the last few years, along with the development of multisectoral economy, many economic organisations of the same area of production or profession have united into targe professional associations. In principal, these associations are members of VFLF and are administratively coordinated by MOHA.
Funds (Foundations)
On 22 December 1999, the Government of Vietnam issued Decree 177lND-Cp on regulations of organisation and operation of social funds and charity funds. According to the regulation, funding is available to a non-governmental not for profit organisation which has at least three founding members who are able to prove that they are able to mobilize and manage funds according to the mandate of the fund.
To set up a fund, its founding members have to submit the dossier of application for fund establishment including the application, a draft charter of the fund, a list of founding members, and members of fund management board, etc. and a plan of mobilization,
management and use of the fund’s capital and properties. The dossier should be sent to the provincial president for consideration and approval. The provincial president may
assign the president of a district or a town to issue a decision regarding the establishment
of the fund.
According to incomplete statistics, as of 2001, about 200 funds have been founded in Vietnam. Most funds were set up by associations, a small number were set up by
individuals. There are several nationwide funds like the Poverty Alleviation Fund, Fund for Technical creativity, Fund for employment support to people with disability, etc.
There are funds formed by government organisations, for example the fund for protection
and support of children, formed by the Vietnam Committee of Protection and Care of
Children – a ministry level government organisation in charge of children’s issues.
Funds may also be formed under social organisations, like the Compassion Fund of the Vietnam Women Union or the Fund for Supporting Farmers formed by the Farmers
Association. These funds may have their branches down to the commune level.
These ‘funds’ mobilise money from government agencies, private businesses and
individuals to support disadvantaged people or children or people and children in difficult situation, such as those who suffer natural disaster or who live in pover’ty, etc.
NPOs in the field of science and techno

The field of sciences and technology has the largest number of NPOs. As of 2001.273 NPOs of this field were registered under the VUSTA. About 80% of these NPOs have been
established by the association members of VUSTA. The rest belong to collectives or individuals.
These NPOs are organized and operated according to the Decree 35/HDBT on coordination of scientific and technological activities, issued on 28 January 1g92 by
Council of Ministers (Government at present).
Social supporting centres
There are hundreds of centres providing social support, associations such as the Women’s
Union, Red Cross, etc. For example, a number of centres for orphans have been formed
underthe Association for Protection and Support of Disabled People and Orphan Children.
These centres have to register with the local governments directly or through the umbrella
association. Few centres have been set up by individuals. The main function of the cenrres
is to provide care and support to orphans, disabled people and lonely old people.
The Government issued Decree 25lND-CP on 30 May 2001 on regulations of organisation
and operation of support centres. The Decree stipulates that support centres are not for
profit institutions set up by governmental, non-governmental or social organisations.
Support centres can receive people with difficult circumstances, for example, orphans,
lonely elderly who has no income, people with disability having no income or resource for
living, etc. Support centres may also provide vocational training, involve people in
production and provision of service for income and help them to rehabilitate to the
community. Financial resources of a support centre may include contribution of its
members, donation from government or social organisations, individuals inside and outside
the country, contribution of the family or sponsors, income from production or services, etc.
Organisations of other forms
There are many organisations which do not fit in the above classification. Most of these
organisations are informal or unregistered. These include clubs, centres for natural disaster
prevention, etc.
Revenue/ funding for CS organizations
ln the past, once an association was allowed to be formed by the state, its operation used
to be subsidized. The government still partly funds the administrative work and coordination
of the large unions and associations. Government subsidies helps for the office expenses,
maintenance, supplies, e.g. electricity, telephone, equipment, etc. and salary for
management staff of the associations. At present the government funds are available to the
major associations to the provincial level, sometimes as far as the district level. However,
under the Decision 2ll2OO3lQD-TTg on government budget for these social and social-
political organisations, the funding from government will gradually reduce and a new
mechanism will be applied after 2005
Most associations and organisations are self-financing so fundraising is of utmost
importance. The social organisations establish funds/foundations to collect donations and
then dlstribute these to poor people or disaster affected people. The other channel is direct
collection and distribution of donations organized by social organisations as regular or
emergency activities. Many organisations, for example, the women unions or labour
the
the
federations orqanize a dav or launch a week of collection clothes or food in

different workplaces or communities”
A major part of income of the socio-professional organisations, professional and business organisations, and nonprofit organisations in the field of science and technology comes from fees from various scientific research, and training and technological activities.
The government funds do not influence much the program orientation and functioning of the third sector organisations as most of them do not rely on the government resources. Many Vietnamese NPos get resources from programs funded by inlernational agencies or from joint projects with international NGOs.
INGOs
Organisation of Development Assistance
Currently, Viet Nam has relations and cooperation with about 5OO lnternationat Non- Governmental Organisations (lNGOs), of which close to 370 work permanenly in Viet Nam through specific projects and partners, and are granted operation licences. Several have been providing assistance to Viet Nam since the late 1970s and during the 19BOs, when development assistance from the West was limited to aid from the UN system, Sweden and Finland. However, the last decade has seen an annual increase of new INGOs active in the country, from 125 in 1991 to 485 in 2001. Consistant with the Regulations on the Operation of Foreign Non-Governmental Organisations in Viet Nam promulgated by the Government of Viet Nam, more than one hundred INGOs have offices and stiff in Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hue. All in all 378 permits have been issued by what is now the Committee for Foreign Non-Governmental Organisation Affairs (273 permits for Operation, 65 Permits for the Establishment of Project Office and 40 permits for the Establishment of Representative Office), with some INGOs having two to three different Permits. INGOs working in Viet Nam come from virtually all over the world: North America,
Western European, as well as from the Asia-Pacific region. Most INGOs operate through
agreements signed directly with Government Ministries, People’s Committees of provinces,
or mass organisations.
Within the Vietnamese administration, coordination of the activities by foreign NGOs is the
responsibility of the People’s Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOI4). PACCOM was established in June 1989 as specialized and functional body of the Viet Nam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO), which is the standing agency of the Committee for
Foreign NGO Affairs, mandated by the Government to facilitate foreign NGOs’ activities
and to coordinate their aid programmes in Viet Nam. Specifically, PACCOM has been
acting as a bridge to link INGOs to appropriate local partners, and to support these
relationships. In order to facilitate INGOs activities in Viet Nam, PACCOM has its network
with close and effective collaboration of focal points for foreign NGOs affairs at the central
level and in all 64 provinces and centrally administered cities. lt also provides
administrative and programme support.
Activities of INGOs in Viet Nam
The unique role of INGOs is that the focus of their activities is of a people-to-people nature.
They are able to work directly with beneficiaries and can respond to needs rapidly and with
flexibility. The diversity of their methods of providing assistance, ‘.lre range of local
counterparts, and their geographic and sectoral focus cannot be generalized easily.
INGO outreach covers all of the provinces of Viet Nam. INGOs work at the provincial,
district, commune and village/hamlet level. The list of the various activities INGOs are
currentlv enqaqed in includes:

. Health: Reproductive Health; HIV/AIDS; Primary Health Care; Nutrition; etc. . Education: Early Childhood Development; Preschool, Primary and Secondary School; University; Vocational Training; etc.
. Integrated Rural Development; Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management
. EnvironmentalProtection
. Micro-Finance and Income Generation
. People{o-people development through the use of volunteers . Capacity and Institution Building
o Women’s and Children’s issues
. Gender
. War Legacies such as landmine and UXO, and toxic chemicals
. Disability
r Advocacy
. Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Relief
Bilateral Donors activities
Promotion of Civil society as cross-cutting issues is adopted in most of activities by bilateral
and multilateral donors.
The portfolio of projects and activities in poverty reduction, rural development, governance,
health, economics, public administration reform, the notion of civil society is enhanced and
advocated.
Source:
http :/iwww. nqocentre. netna m.vn/nqores E/intro00 1 . htm
Civil Society and NGOs in Vietnam
Developments
With the concept of civil society and NGOs described obove once can say that a civil
society has to a certain extent been already established in the past. The difference
between the civil society in the past and today lies in the degree of its participation and
capacity to influence developments.
The principle “people know, people discuss, people execute and people supervise” which
has been repeatedly mentioned in documents and policies of the Vietnam’s Communist
Party (CP) reflects the wish of the Government to encourage every social organisation and
citizen participating in formulating, implementing and monitoring policies. This principle has
been realised through the Directive 30/CT issued by the Central Committee of the
Vietnam’s CP on Grassroots Democracy.
In order to implement the Directive of the Central Committee of the Vietnam’s CP. the
Government has passed a number of decrees concerning grassroots democracy, e.g.
Grassroots Democracy at the Commune (Decree 29i 1998/ND-CP issued May 1 1 , 1998), at
Grassroots Democracy at agencies (Decree 7111998/ND-CP dated September 8, lgg8)
and Grassroots Democracy at state owned enterprises (Decree 07/1999/ND-CP issued
February 13, 1999). In those decrees, the Grassroots Democracy Decree atCommune has
been considered the leqal basis for strenothenino the oarti of local communities at

the|oca||eve|.Theartic|e4oftheDecreerequested|oca|go@
providing information concerning policies, laws, long-term and annual socio-economic development plans of the communes, land-use plans and annual draft budget” Besides the rights to be informed, the Decree also stipulated the rights of citizen to be involved in discussing and deciding the level of their contribution, in establishing local committees monitoring construction projects contributed by citizen, and in assessing activities of People’s Committee and People’s Council of the communes. The Decree differentiates four levels of participation of citizen: sharing information, providing comments, participating in decision-making and monitoring.
To facilitate the participation of citizen towards devolving decision-making power to local government, the Government recognised the need to strengthening partnerships with other organisations working for the benefits and needs of the people, by contirruing to encourage
and support the work of mass organisations. The Government also recognized the need to put in place a legal and policy framework for associations and domestic NGOs, forexample
issuance of the Decree 35/CP in ‘1992 on Some Measures to Encourage Scientific and
Technological Activities, which allows individuals establish their own science and technology organisations, Decree 177lCP in 1999 concerning social and charity funds, and
the recent Law on Science and Technology in 2000
The policy and institutional framework mentioned above provides a basis for development
of a civil society in Vietnam. There are a number of forms of communities set up voluntarily
by people at the grassroots level to manage natural resources and development for a
sustainable livelihood. One of these communities is the water-users group established in
various locations in Vietnam which is considered the grass-roots NGO. The Thai Long Dam
Project in the Cam Phu Commune, Cam Thuy District, Thanh Hoa Province has been
supported by the International NGO – the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker
Service Vietnam). This project is one of successful examples demonstrating the capacity of
grass-roots commity – the Water Users Cooperative in empowering the local farmers in
managing their local water resource for their own benefits, in the context of government
policy to transfer the water user right to local communities. This case did not only prove the
role of NGO in the development of the communities and in providing a substitute for
function in the field of welfare (water supply at the commune level) which the state can no
longer afford to perform, but also showed that a close partnership between the local NGO,
international NGO and the Government in implementing the project is important factor for
the success of the project.
Other examples related to the role of local resident communities in enforcing business to
improve the quality of environment next to their living area are the complaints of local
residents against the polluting enterprises. As a results of their complaints, one factory had
to install air filter to improve the discharged airs and the other factory had to be relocated.
These cases illustrated the possibilites of local communities in challenging the political
ligitimacy of the Government and thereby creating social and political pressure on business
(O’rourke 2000)
Civil society in Vietnam can also be represented by groups of critical intellectual actors
such as journalists, historians, scientists. While the action and resistance responded to the
development by local communities concerning their sustainable livelihood and community
development has been taken place at the operational level, the ‘cultural critique’ of the
mainstream development has been carried out by these critical intellectual actors at the
discourse level. Concerning the environmental impacts of coal mining in Quang Ninh
Province in general and in Ha Long Bay in particular, the journalists were the first who
brought this concerns and issues in newspaper and TV programs. Apart from journalists,
scientists also activelv partici in the debates on the wav coal mininq has ooerated. ln

responsetotheV|NAcoAL’splan(VietnamCoa|Coip
to Yen Tu Mountain- the Centre of Vietnamse Buddhism designated by the Government as the national historical monument, members of the National Association of Historians and the Centre of Historical Monument Conservation openly criticised in July 1998. In his open letter to the Chairman of the Quang Ninh People Committee, Tran euoc Vlong, a well known outspoken professor of culture and history at the Hanoi National University, str6ng! cnticised. This open letter was published in the newspaper the Cutture and widely distributed. As a result of this debate, the People Committee together with the VINACOAL had to organise a press conference to respond to the critiques (Bach Tan Sinh ).
Obstacles
The first institutional barrier to the participation of local communities and citizen is the lack of information about policies, laws and regulations, socio-economic development strategies and plans of the Vietnam CP and the Government. The recent assessment of UNDp in the National Target Programme (TNP) for Hunger Eradication and Poverty Reduction (HEpR) –
Programme 133 in short and – Programme 135 for Socio-economic Development in Communes with Extreme Difficulties, operated towards devolving management authority and promoting the participation of local communities over the last two years ‘1999-2000
reveals that almost all local communities have not yet been given the authority to participate in the decision-making, management and monitoring process. The role of local communities in identification of programmes’ target beneficiaries, planning for implementation and monitoring of results and expenditures has not been realised yet, because decision making mainly takes place at provincial levels, while the programmes
lack the flexibility to accommodate local people’s inputs. Besides, local people have litle information on what they expect in terms of programme activities. The reliance on mass organisation as channels for information sharing and consultation proves problematic
(World Bank 2000).
One additional obstacle is a lack of tools that facilitate participation of local communities
and citizen. According to the Assessment of UNDP in the Programme ‘133 and 135, despite
of the demand from the programmes to have the participation of local communities in the planning and implementing process, no useful detailed guidelines are put in place to realise
lhis demand. Other challenge is related to gather comments from citizen on draft socio-
economic development strategies and plans. Until there is a way to process information
that facilitates the full participation of citizen to make comments, the making alldocuments
public becomes symbolic. In all regulations concerning grassroots democracy there is no guidelines on how to involve people to participate, for example the method on Participatory
Rural Appraisal (PRA). This method has been so far successfully used by NGOs in
formulating, implementing and monitoring development projects at local level.
I Source:
I Exert from “Civil Society and NGOs in Vietnam” by Bach Tan Sinh I
I https://www.un.org.vn/donor/civil/CSandNGOs%20in%2OVietnam.rtf I
l0

Decree 88
Comment – Decree No. 88/2003/ND-Cp
DecreeB8regu|atesassociationsthatarevo|untari|yfor
that have the same area of work interest, are of the same circle, pursuing the same purpose of unity, and operating in a regular manner. Religious associations and those that play an important role in the political system of the country such as the Vietnam Fatherland Front and the Vietnam Veterans’ Association are not governed by the f)ecree.
Associations underthe Decree 88 have legalstatus and can use theirown stamp and open bank accounts. They are entitled to select the names and logos in compliance with the laws. Associations must satisfy certain conditions for establishment including being formed for purposes not contrary to the law; having names and operationaldomains not identicalto those of other legally operating organizations; their own charter and premises, and a sufficient number of participating members.
To establish an association, prospective founders must first set up a preparatory
mobilization committee which must be recognized by relevant State authorities. After receiving recognition, the committee shall prepare an application dossier that includes a draft charter, plan of operations, list of members of the preparatory mobilization committee,
certified CV of the president, and documents showing the headquarters and assets of the association.
The dossier must be sent to Minister of Home Affairs or Chairman of Provincial peoole’s
Committee depending on whether the association is to operate nationwide or in a single province. These agencies must issue receipts and give a response to the preparatory
mobilization committee within 60 days as of the date they receive the dossier. Should state
authorities refuse to grant establishment, they must explicitly state the grounds for their
refusal in writing.
One point that draws criticism is the fact that only Vietnamese citizens and organizations
can join associations which organized and operating under Decree BB. The Decree
stipulates that foreign joint ventures and wholly-owned enterprises established by the laws
on foreign investment in Vietnam cannot become full members of associations.
With regards to organization and structure of associations, the highest body of an
association is the plenum meeting which must meet at least every 5 years to make the
most important decisions on the association’s operations. Such decisions can onlv be passed by a majority vote of the attending members.
Associations are to represent and protect members’ interests; arrange and co-ordinate the
operation of members; provide education and training to members; consult and respond
the queries of others etc.
Decree BB also outlines policies for division, separation, merger, consolidation and
dissolution of associations.
There are two ways an association can dissolve: on their own initiative or by a decision of
the State upon the appearance of any of the following – they failto operate for 12 months in
a row or congress adopts a resolution to dissolve the association but the leadership
declines to
11

Associations that are in serious violation of the law must also be dissolved.
It is unclear under Decree 88 whether all associations are required to obtain a licence, or if so-called associations without licence are required to halt their operation in order to apply.
The Decree BB, which is drafted by MoHA, is a step fonarard in addressing the need for a coherent legal framework for NGOs. However, clarification could be provid6d especially as to:
i) the coverage of the Decree,
ii) its implementation mechanism,
iii) linkages to other related reform initiatives, including the Grassroots Democracy Decree, PAR and related decentralisation initiatives.
It is expected that the guidelines for implementation, which are being drafted, will contribute to clarification of these points.
Source:
http ://wurw. un. org. vn/donor/civil. htm
DECREE 88 – Operation of Association (Juty 2003)
DECREE No. 88/2003/ND-CP oF JULY 30, 2003 pRovtDtNG FoR THE
ORGANIZATION, OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT OF ASSOCIATIONS
THE GOVERNMENT
Pursuant to Order No. 102 QUL004 of May 20,1957 promulgating the Law on the Right
to Set Up Associations;
Pursuant to the October 28, 1905 Civil Code;
Pursuant to the December 25,2OO1 Law on Organization of the Government’
At the proposal of the Minister of the Interior,
DECREES:
Chapter 1
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 1.- Regulation scope
1. This Decree provides for the organization, operation and State management of
associations.
2. This Decree shall not apply to the following organizations:
a) Vietnam Fatherland Front, Vietnam Labor Confederation, the Ho Chi Minh Communist
Youth Union, Vietnam Peasants’ Associations, Vietnam War Veterans’ Association,
Vietnam Women’s Union;
b) Religious organizations.
Article 2.- Associations
t2

1. Associations prescribed in this Decree are understood as voluntary organizations of citizens, organizations of Vietnamese of the same professions, the same hobbies, the same genders for the common purposes of gathering and uniting members, regular
activities, non-self-seeking, aiming to protect members’ legitimate rights and interests, to support one another for efficient activities, contribute to the country’s socio-economic
development, which are organized and operate according to this Decree and other relevant
legal documents.
2. Associations bear different names such as union of associations, confederation,
federation, society, clubs with legal person status and different appellations according to law provisions (hereinafter referred collectively to as assooiattons).
3. Association shall include the following organizations classified according to the (territorial) scope of operation:
a) Associations operating nationwide or inter-provincially;
b) Associations operating within provinces or centrally-run cities (hereinafter referred
collectively to as provinces):
c) Associations operating within rural districts, urban districts, provincial capitals or
towns (hereinafter referred collectively to as districts);
d) Associations operating within communes, wards, district townships (hereinafter
referred collectively to as communes).
Article 3.- Setting up association and principles for organization and operation hereof
1. The establishment of associations must be permitted by the competent State bodies
defined in Article 15 of this Decree.
2. Associations shall be organized and operate according to their respective charters
which are approved by competent State bodies and do not contravene laws, they are
organized and operate according to the principles of voluntarism, self-management, self-
financing and self-responsibility before law.
Article 4.- State bodies’ responsibility towards associations
1. State bodies shall, within the scope of their functions and tasks, have the
responsibility to create favorable conditions for associations to operate according to their
respective charters and with efficiency.
2. Associations which are recognized as socio-political organizations or socio-political
and professional organizations or which have their operations associated with the State’s
tasks, shall be rendered support from the State budget according to the Prime Ministe/s
regulations.
Article 5.- Legal person status, seals, names and logos of associations
1. Associations have their own legal person status, seals and accounts.
2.Associations are entited to choose theirown names and logos underthe provisions of
law.
Chapter ll
CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURES FOR ESTABLISI.IMENT OF
ASSOCIATIONS
Article 6.- Conditions for establishment of associations
1. Having operation purposes not contrary to law; having names and main operation
domains not identical to those of the associalion which have been previously set up lawfully
in the same qeoqraphical areas.
1aIJ

2″ Having charters.
3^ Having head-offices.
4. Having adequate number of members registered for participation.
The Minister of the Interior shall prescribe the number of members registered for joining
associations.
Article 7.- Boards canvassing for establishment of associations
1. To establish associations, the founding members must set up boards canvassing for the establishment thereof. The association establishment-canvassing boards shall be
recognized by the agencies which perform the State management over the branches or
domains where the associations are expected to operate.
The Minister of the Interior shall prescribe the number of members of such a board.
2. After being recognized, the association establishment-canvassing boards shall
perform the following tasks:
a) Mobilizing citizens and/or organizations to join the associations, finalizing the dossiers
of application for permits to establish the associations;
b) The boards’heads shall send dossiers of application forthe establishment permits to
the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree.
Article B.- Dossiers of application for establishment of associations
1. The application for a permit to establish an association.
2. fhe draft charter.
3.The projected operation plan.
4. The list of member of the association establishment-canvassing board recognized by
a competent State body.
5.The curriculum vitae of the head of the association establishment-canvassing board
recorgnize by a competent agency.
6.Document certifying the head-office and assets of the association.
Article 9.- Principle contents of the charter of an association
1. The association’s name.
2. The guiding principles, purposes, domains and scope of operation of the association.
3. The association’s tasks and powers.
4. The organization and operation principles.
5. The procedures to join, leave the association.
6. Members’criteria.
7. Members’ rights and obligations.
B. Structure, organization, procedures for elecion and dismissal; tasks and powers of
the association’s leadership, control board, other leading posts.
9. Assets, finance and mode of management of assets and finance of the association.
10. Conditions for dissolution and liquidation of assets, finance.
1 1. Commendation, handling of violations.
12. Procedures for amendinq, su inq the charter.
74

1 3. lmplementation effect.
Article 10.- Responsibilities of the State agencies competent to permit the establishment of the associations upon the receipt of dossiers of application therefor
The competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree, when receiving the dossiers of application for establishment of associations, must issue the receipts thereof. lf the application dossiers are complete and valid, the competent State agencies shall, within 60 days as from the date of receiving the complete and valid dossieri, haue to reply the association establishment-canvassing boards; in case of refusal, there must be the wiitten replies clearly slating the reasons therefor.
Article I 1.-The time for holding congresses to establish associations
1. Within 90 days as from the date the decision permitting the establishnrent of an association takes effect, the association establishment canvassing board must organize a congress.
2. lf past the above time limit it still fails to organise the congress, the association establishment-canvassing board shall send a written request for the extension thereof to the State agency which has issue the decision permitting the establishment thereof. The extension duration shall not exceed 3Odays; lf past the extension duration, such congress is not held, the decision permitting the establishment of the association shall be no longer effective.
Article 12.- Principal contents in the agenda of the association-founding congress
1. Announcing the decision permitting the establishment of the association.
2. Discussing and voting on the Charter.
3. Electing the leadership and the control board as provided for by the association’s
Charter.
4. Adopting the association’s activity program.
5. Adopting the congress’ resolution.
Article 13.- Report on the congress results
Within 30 days after the congress, the association’s leadership shall send the congress
documents to the State agency which has issued the decision permitting the
establishment of the association, icluding:
‘1. The Charter and the record on the adoption of association’s Charter;
2.The record on the election of the leadership, the control board (enclosed with lists of
their members) and curriculum vitae of the association’s head;
3. The association’s activity program;
4.Thecongress’s resolution.
Article 14.- Approving associations’ Charters and the effect thereof
1 . The competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree shall decide to
aprove the associations’ Charters when they are adopted by the congresses. In cases
where the provisions of Charters are contrary to laws, the competent State agencies
shall refuse to approve and request the associations to amend them.
2. The associations’ Charters shall take effect as from the dates the competent State
agencies decide to approve them.
Article 15.- State agencies compelent to permit the establishment, division, separation,
merger, consolidation and dissolution of assocations and to approve the Charters
l5

thereof
1. The Minister of the lnterior shall permit the establishment, division, separation, merger, consolidation and dissolution and approve the Charters of associations operating nationwide or inter-provincially.
2. The provincial-level People’s Committee presidents shall permit the establishment, division, separation, merger, consolidation and dissolution and approve the Charters of associations operating within their respective provinces.
Chapter lll
MEMBER
Article 1 6.- Membership conditions
Vietnamese citizens and organizations fully satisfying the members’ criteria prescribed by the associations’ Charters and voluntary applying to join such associations can all become member thereof.
The competence and procedures to admit members shall be prescribed in the associations’ Charters.
Article 17.- Right and obligations of members
The right and obligations of member shall be prescribed in the associations’ Charters.
Article 18.- Associated members and honorary members
1. Joint-venture enterprises and enterprises with 100% foreign investment capital (hereinafter referred to as enterprises with foreign elements) operating in Vietnam, contributing to the development of unions and agreeing to their Charters, shall be considered by unions of economic organizations tor their recognition as associated
memDers.
Associated members may participate in activities and attend congresses of unions. They
shall not participate in the election of or stand for the leadership of the unions, nor vote on affairs of the unions
The procedures to admit associated members shall be prescribed by the unions’ Charters.
2. Vietnamese citizens and organizations that have no conditions to become members
of associations but make contributions to the associations, can be recognized by the
associations as their associated members or honorary members. The rights and obligations
of associated members and honory members shall be precribed by the associations’
Charters.
Chaoter V
ORGANIZATION, OPERATION, RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF ASSOCIATIONS
Article 19.- Term congress and extraordinary congress
1 . The supreme leading body of an association is the plenary congress or the congress
of deouties.
2. The office term of the congress shall be prescribed in the Charter but shall not exceed
5 years.
3. An extraordinary congress shall be convened when at least 2/3 (two third) of the total
number of the executive members or at least 112 (half) of the total number of the full-
fledged members so request.
Article 20.- Major contents to be decided at the congress
1. Orientations for the activities of the association
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2. The election of the leadership, the control board of the association.
3. Change of the association’s name, amendment (if any) of the Charter.
4. Joining in Union of associations of the same operation domains.
5. Division, separation, merger, consolidation, dissolution of the association.
6. The association’s finance.
Article 21.- Principles for voting at the congress
1. The congress can vote by hand show or by secret ballots. The forms of voting shall
be decided by the congress.
2. fhe voting to adopt decisions of the congress must be approved by more than 112 (half) of the present full-fledged members.
Article 22.- Rights of associations
1. To propagate their purpose.
2. To represent their members in internal and external relations related to the functions
and tasks of associations”
3. To protectthe legitimate rights and interests of the associations and theirmembers.
4. To organize, coordinate activities among members for the common interests of the
associations; to reconcile disputes within the associations.
5. To disseminate and train in knowledge to members; to supply necessary information
to members according to law provisions.
6. To provide consultancy and criticism on meters within the scope of operation of the
associations at requests of organizations and/or individuals.
7. To contribute opinions on legal documents relating to the contents of operations of the
associations under the provisions of law. To propose to competent State agencies matters
related to the development of the associations and domains where the associations have
ooerated in.
B. To coordinate with the concerned agencies andior organizations in performing the
tasks of the associations.
9. To raise funds for the associations on the basis of their membership fees and sources
of the revenue from business and/or service activities under the provisions of law in order
to ensure their operation funding.
’10. To receive lawful financial supports of domestic and foreign organizations and/or
individuals under the provisions of law. ;:
‘1 1. Association with national or inter-provincial scope of operation may join to be
members of international and regional associations as provided for in the Government’s
Decree No.2012002/ND-CP of February 20, 2002 on the conclusion and implementation of
intemational agreements by provinces or centrally-run cities, socio-political organization,
social onganizations and socio-professional onganizations of the Socialist Republic of
Vietnam.
Article 23.- Obligations of associations
1. The associations’ operations must comply with their approved Charters.
2. An associations operating in a certain domain must submitto the State management
by the agency which performs the State management over such domain, field.
3″ Thirty days before holding a term congress, the leadership of an association must
t7

send its report to the competent State managem
Decree and the ministry which manages the branch or domain where it operates.
4. The setting up of associtations’ representative offices in other localities must be permitted by the provincial-level People’s Committees of the localities where the presentative offices are to be located and be reported in writing to the competent State agencies defined in Article ’15 of this Article.
5. When changing their presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries general, supplementing their Charters, the associations must report thereon to the competent Staie agenciei defined in Article 15 of this Decree
6. The setting up of legal person under associations must comply with law provisions and be reported to the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree.
7. Annually, associations must report on their organization and operation situation to the competent State agencies and the agencies performing the State management over the branches, domains where the association operate no later than December 1 of that year.
B. They must submit to the guidance, examination and inspection by competent State bodies in the observance of law.
9. The lists of members, chapters and attached units of associations, the voucners on their finance, the minutes of meetings of their leadership shall be made into dossiers and archived at their head-offices.
’10. Revenue collected under the provision in Clauses 9 and 10 of Article 22 of this Decree must be reserved forthe associations’activities according to the provisions of their
Charters, and must not be divided to their members.
1 ‘1. The use of fundings of the associations must comply with law provisions. Annually,
the associations must make reports on financial settlement according to the State’s
regulations and send them to the finance bodies of the same levels.
Chaoter Vl
DlvlsloN, SEPARATIoN; MERGER, coNSoLlDATloN AND DtssoLUTtoN oF
ASSOCIATIONS
Article 24.- Division, separation, merger, consolidation, dissolution
L Depending on operation requirements and capabilities of associations, their
leaderships shall propose the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree
to permit the division, separation, merger, consolidation or dissolution of the associations.
The division, separation, merger, consolidation and dissolution of associations must comply
with the provision of law.
2. Association shall dissolve in the followino cases:
a) They dissolve by themselves;
b) They are dissolved underdecisions of the competent State agencies defined in Article
15 of this Decree.
Article 25.- Associations dissolve by themselves
Associations shall dissolve by themselves in the following cases:
1. Upon the expiry of their operation duration;
2. At the request of more than 1 12 o’f the total number of their full-fledged memoers;
3. Their objectives have been already attained.
18

Article 26.- Responsibilities of the leaderships of associations when the latter dissolve by themselves
1 . To send to the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree the following documents:
a) The application for dissolution of the association,
b) The resolution on the dissolution of the association;
c) The property, finance statement;
d) The projected mode of handling the property and finance and the time limit for
repayment of debts.
2. To notify the debt repayment (if any) time limits to the coneemed organizations and individuals according to law provisions on central newspapers, for associations with national or inter-provincial scope of operation, or local newspapers, for associations with provincial scope of operation, for five consecutive issues.
Article 27.- Deciding on the dissolution of associations
The competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree shall decide to
dissolve associations 15 days after the expiry of the time limits for debt repayment and
property and finance liquidation, inscribed in the associations’ notices when applying for the
dissolution without written complaints.
Associations shall terminate their operation as from the dates the decisions of the State
agencies competent lo dissolve the associations take effect.
Article 2B- Associations being dissolved
Associations shall be dissolved under decisions of the competent State agencies
defined in Article 15 of this Decree in the following cases:
1. They fail to operate for 12 months in a row,
2. When the congresses adopt resolutions on dissolution but their leaderships decline to
ooey:
3. Their operations seriously violate laws.
Article 29.- Responsibilities of the competent State agencies when associations are
dissolved
When associations are dissolved, the competentState agencies defined inArticle 15 of
this Decree must.
a) lssue decisions to dissolve the associations:
b) Announce the decisions on dissolution of the associations on the mass media.
Article 30.- Setting property, finance when associations are dissolved, consolidated,
merged, divided or separated
1. When associations dissolve by themselves, are dissolved, their properties shall be
settled as follows:
a) Properties, finance donated by domestic and/or foreign organizations; properties,
finance given by the State as its support, after the association have fufilled their property
obligations and repay all debts, shall be decided by competent State agencies;
b) The properties and finance acquired by the associations themselves, after they have
fulfilled their property obligations and repaid all debts, shall be decided by the associations
according to their Charters before their dissolution.
19


2. Settling properties and finance of associations when they are consolidated:
a) When being consolidated into new associations, the old ones shall terminate their
existence and the new associations shall enjoy all legitimate rights and interests of the old
associations and take responsibility for all unpaid debt amounts as well as the service
contracts being performed by the old associations;
b) The properties and finance of the consolidated associations must not be divided,
changed hand but must be fully transferred to the new associations.
3. Settling properties and finance of associations when they are merged:
a) When an association is merged into another association, the properties and finance
of the merged association shall be transferred to the merging association;
b) The merging associations shall enjoy the legitimate rights and interests over the
available properties and finance of the merged associations, and take responsibility
for unpaid property and finance debts as well as uncompleted service contracts.
4. Settling property and finance of associations when they are divided, separated:
a) After the division of an association, the divided association shall terminate its
operation and its property and finance rights and interests shall be transferred to the new
association under the decision on division of the association:
b) After being separated, associations shall perform their respective property and
finance rights and obligations in accordance with the purposes of their operations.
Article 31.- Right to complain
Where the dissolved associations disagree with the dissolution decisions, they may
lodge their complaints according to law provisions. Pending the settlement of their
complaints, the associations mus not operate.
Chaoter Vll
STATE MANAGEMENT OVER ASSOCIATIONS
Article 32.- State management over associations
1. To elaborate for submission or promulgate legal documents on associations.
2, To guide the ministries, branches, localities, associations and citizens in observing
the legislation on associations.
3. To permit the establishment, division, seperation, merger, consolidation, dissolution
of associations, and to approve their Charters as provided for in Article 15 of this Decree.
4. To provide professional guidance for State officials and/or employees performing the
work of managing associations.
5. To propagate and disseminate legislation on associations.
6. To inspect and examine the observance of legislation on associations; to examine the
implementation of Charters by associations.
7. To manage the signing of international cooperation documents on associations under
the provisions of law.
B. To settle complaints and denunciations, handle the violations of legislation on
associations.
9. To sum up reports on organization, operation and management of associations.
The Ministry of the Interior shall assist the Government in exercising the uniform State
management over associations throughout the country.
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Article 33.- The State management tasks of the ministries, ministerial-level agencies over the associations’ operations in the domains under their respective management nationwide
1 . To join competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of this Decree in permitting in writing the establishment, division, separation, merger, consolidation and dissotution of associations and in approving their Charters; to recognize the associations establishment- canvassing boards.
2. To guide and create conditions for associations to participate in activities within the branches or domains under their respective management according to law provisions; to gather opinions of associations in order to finalize the provisions on the State management over the branches or domain.
3. To examine the implementation of the regulations on State management over the branches, domains by associations, to handle or propose competent State bodies to handle violations according to law.
Article 34.-The provincial-level People’s Committees’ tasks of State management over the associations’ operations within their respective provinces
1. To exercise their competence under the provisions in Clause 2, Article 15 of this Decree and perform the State management over organization and operation of associations.
2. To inspect and examine the observance of legislation on associations.
3. To settle complaints and denunciations and handle violations of legislation on associations.
4. To consider the support for associations operating in their respective localities.
5. To consider and permit associations operating in their respective localities to receive
financial assistance from domestic and foreign organizations and individuals according to law provisions.
6. To direct provincial/municipal Services, Departments, branches, the district and commune People’s Committees in the management of associations.
7. To annually send sum-up reports on the organization, operation and management of
associations in the localities to the Ministry of the Interior.
Chapter Vlll
COMMENDATION AND HANDLING OF
VIOLATIONS
Article 35.- Commendation
1. Those association which operate and make many contributions to socio-economic
devefopment shall be commended and/or rewarded according the regulations of the State.
2. Those association members who record achievements shall be commended and/or rewarded according to the regulations of their associations and of the Sate.
Article 36.- Handling of violations
1. Those who violate the rights to establish associations, abuse associations’ name to
conduct activities in contravention of laws shall, depending on the nature and seriousness
of their violations, be disciplined, administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability
according to law provisions; if causing material damage, have to compensate therefor
accordinq to law isions.
2T

2. Those who abuse their positions and powers and permit the establishment of associations in contravention of the provisions of this Decree shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of their violations, be disciplined, administratively sanctioned or examined for penal liability according to law provisions; if causing material damage, have to compensate therefor according to law provisions.
3. Associations’ leaderships or representatives who deliberately prolong the term
congresses prescribed in the associations’ Charters or fail to observe the regulations on associations’obligations shall, depending on the nature and seriousness of theirviolations,
be handled according to law provisions.
Chapter Vlll
IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS
Article 37.- | molementation effect
1. This Decree takes implementation effect 15 days after its publication in the Official
Gazette.
2. This Decree shall replace Decree No.2SBiTTg of June 14, 1957 of the Prime Minister
detailing the implementation of Law No..102/SL/1004 of May 20,1957 on the Right to
Set up Associations.
3. Associations which were permitted by the former Minister of tire Interior and the provincial Administrative Committees for establishment under.OrderNo.lO2lSLl L004 of
May 20,’1957 and were permitted by the Council of Ministers Chairman (now the Prirne
Minister) or the Minister-Head of the Government Commission for Organization and
Personnel (now the Minister of the Interior), the provincial/municipal People’s Committee
presidents for establishment under Directive No.OI/CT of January 5, 19Bg on management,
organization and operation of mass associations shall not have to apply for re-
establishment.
4. Unions of economic organizations, which were set up under Decision No-38/HDBT Of
April ’10, 19Bg of the Council of Ministers (now the Government) on economic alignment in
production, circulation, services, shall not have to apply for re-establishment.
Article 38.- lmplementation organization
The Minister of the Interior shall guide the implementation of this Decree
The ministers, the heads of the ministerial-level agencies, the Government-attached
agencies and the provincial/municipal People’s Committee presidents shall have to
imolement this Decree.
On behalf of the Government
Prime Minister
PHAN VAN KHAI
22

clRcuLAR No. 01/2004/TT-BNVon guiding the implementation of DeCree 88
CIRCULAR ***
No.01/20O4/TT-BNV
SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
IN D EP EN D E N CE. F REEDOM-H APPI N ES S
January 15,2004
CIRCULAR No. O1/2004/TT-BNV OF JANUARY 15,2004 GUIDING THE IMPLEMENTATTON OF A
NUMBER OF ARTICLES OF THE GOVERNMENT’S DECREE No. 8a/2003/ND-CP OF JULY 30, 2003
PROVIDING FOR THE ORGANIZATION, OPERATION AND MANAGEMENT OF ASSOCIATIONS
In furtherance of the Government’s Decree No.BB/ 2003/ND-CP of July 30, 2003 providing for the
organization, operation and management of associations (hereinafter called the Decree for short), the
Ministry of Home Affairs hereby guides the implementation thereof as follows:
1. ON THE SCOPE OF REGULATION
The scope of regulation covers: associations, unions of associations, confederations, federations,
societies, clubs and associations under other names according to law provisions (hereinafter referred
collectively to as associations), which have legal person status and operate nationwide or inter-
provincially; within provinces or centrally-run cities (hereinafter referred collectively to as provinces);
within rural districts, urban districts, provincial capitals ortowns (hereinafter referred collectively to as
districts); and within communes, wards and district townships (hereinafter referred collectively to as
communes).
II THE NUMBERS OF MEMBERS OF BOARDS CANVASSING FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF
ASSOCIATIONS, DOSSIERS FOR THE SETTING UP, AS WELL AS RECOGNITION AND TASKS OF
BOARDS CANVASSING FOR ESTABLISHMENT OF ASSOCIATIONS
‘1 . To establish associations, the founding members must set up boards canvassing for the
establishment thereof. The numbers of members of the association establishment-canvassing boards are
prescribed as follows:
al For associations operating nationwide or interprovincially, such a canvassing board must comprise at
least 10 members;
b/ For associations operating within provinces, it must be consist of at least 5 members;
c/ For associations operating within districts or communes, it must have at least 3 members;
d/ For unions of economic organizations operating nationwide, such a board must be composed of at
least 5 members representing various economic organizations; and for those operating within provinces,
it must comprise at least 3 members representing various economic organizations in the provinces.
2. A dossier of application for setting up an association establishment-canvassing board shall include:
a/ The application forrecognition of the association establishment-canvassing board, clearly stating the
ZJ

association.sname,itsguidingprincip|esandpurposes,
to operate, the scope of operation, the expected time forestablishment of the association, and the temporary meeting venue;
bl The list of those who are expected to join the association establishmenfcanvassing board and their curriculum vitae: their full names; dates of birth; residence places; educational qualificltions; and professional qualifications.
3. Recognition of the association establishmentcanvassing boards:
a/ Boards canvassing for the establishment of associations operating nationwide or inter-provincially shall be recognized by the ministries or ministeriallevel agencies (hereinafter referred collectively to as ministries)which perform the State management overthe branches ordomains where the associations are expected to operate;
bl Boards canvassing for the establishment of associations operating within provinces shall be recognized by the services or agencies under the provincial People’s Committees (hereinafter referred collectively to as provincial/municipal services) which perform the State management over the branches or domains where the associations are expected to operate;
c/ Boards canvassing for the establishment of associations operating within districts or communes shall be recognized by the district People’s Committees.
4. Tasks of the association establishmentcanvassing boards:
ai To mobilize citizens and/or organizations to register for joining the associations;
b/ To prepare dossiers for the establishment of the associations according to Article 8 of the Decree.
Aftercompleting all preparations forthe establishment of the associations, the association establishment-
canvassing boards shall send dossiers to:
– The Ministry of Horne Affairs, for associations operating nationwide or inter-provincially;
– The provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services, for associations operating within provinces, districts or
communes.
The association establishmentcanvassing boards shall be automatically dissolved after the associations’
executive boards are elected by their congresses.
III. THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE REGISTERING FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE
ASSOCIATIONS’ESTABLISH M EN T
1. Forassociations operating nationwide orinterprovincially, there must be at least 100 signatures (applications for participation) of eligible citizens and/ or organizations in various provinces, voluntarily
registering for participation in the associations’ establishment.
2. For associations operating within provinces, there must be at least 50 signatures (applications for
participation) of eligible citizens and/or organizations in the provinces, voluntarily registering for participation in the associations’ establishment.
3. For associations within distrjcts, there must be at least 20 signatures (applications for
‘)A

participation) of eligible citizens and/or organizations in the districts, voluntarily registelng for participation in the associations’ establishment.
4. For associations operating within communes, there must be at least 10 signatures (applications for participation) of eligible citizens and/or organizations in the communes, voluntarily registering for
participation in the associations’ establishment.
5. For unions of economic organizations having members being representatives of Vietnamese economic
organizations with the legal person status and operating nationwide, there must be at least 11 eligible
legal person representatives in various provinces, while for those operating within provinces, there must
be at least 5 eligible legal person
representatives in the provinces, which are engaged in the same production and business lines orthe
same operation domains meeting the prescribed conditions and voluntarily registering for participation in
the unions’ establishment.
For professional associations with professional peculiarities, the numbers of citizens and/or organizations
voluntarily registering for participation in their establishment shall be considered and decided on a case-
by-case basis by the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree.
IV. APPROVAL OF ASSOCIAT]ONS’ CHARTERS
1. Within 30 days after the congresses, the associations’ leaderships shall send the reports prescribed in
Article 13 of the Decree and the written requests for the approval of the associations’charters to the
competent State agencies defined in Artic e 15 of the Decree, namely:
a/ The Ministry of Home Affairs, for associations operating nationwide or inter-provincially,
b/ The provincial People’s Committees (via the provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services), for
associations operating within provinces, districts or communes.
2. Within 60 days afterreceiving the reports prescribed in Article 13 of the Decree and thewritten
requestsforthe approval of the associations’charters, the competent State agencies defined in Article 15
of the Decree shall base themselves on law provisions, the contents of the associations’ draft charters
and opinions of competent State managemenl agencies to decide on the approval of the charters.
In cases where the associations’charters contain contents contrary to law provisions, the competent
State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree shall guide the associations’ leaderships to finalize the
associations’ charters in strict accordance with the current regulations.
V. ORGANIZATION, REGIMES AND POLICIES FOR CADRES ENGAGED IN
ASSOCIATIONS’ACTIVITIES AND OPERATION FUNDING
1. The organization of associations shall be prescribed in the associations’ charters.
2. fhe personnel working at associations’standing bodies shall be decided by the associations
themselves. Wages and other regimes and policies for personnel working at the associations’ standing
bodies shall comply with the associations’ regulations and be covered by the associations’funding.
Forcadres enjoying salaries from the State budget, their wages and other regimes and policies shall
comply with the State’s regulations.
3. Funding for the operation of associations shall comply with the principle of self-financing. In cases
where the associations have their activities associated with the State’s tasks, they shall be rendered with
25

supportfromtheStatebudget.TheprovisionofsupportfromtheState
comply with the Prime Ministe/s Decision No. 21l2003/QDTTg of January 29, 2OO3 on the State budget support rendered to political-social-professional organizations, social organizations and social- professional organizations for activities associated with the State’s tasks.
VI. ADMISSION OF ASSOCIATED MEMBERS AND HONORARY MEMBERS
1. Unions of economic organizations may admit associated members being joint-venture enterprises and enterprises with 100% foreign capital, operating in Vietnam (hereinafter referred to as enterprises with foreign elements).
2. Associations (except for unions of economic organizations) shall only be allowed to admit associated
members and honorary members being Vietnamese citizens and organizations. The rights and
obligations of associated members and honorary members shall be prescribed in the associations’
charters.
VIII. ON THE SETTING UP OF REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES AND CHANGE OF HEAD-OFFICES
AND KEY LEADING OFFICIALS OF ASSOCIATIONS
1. On the setting up of representative offices
Associations operating nationwide, when setting up their representative off ices in other localities, shall
have to apply for permission of the People’s Committees of the provinces where the representative
offices are to be located. The applications for permission must clearly state:
a/ The necessity to set up representative offices;
b/ The number of the associations’ members in the localities and major operations;
c/ The office locations (addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers … )
After obtaining the provincial People’s Committees’ consent, permitting the setting up of representative
offices, the associations must report thereon in writing to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the ministries
performing the State management over the branches and domains where the associations operate.
2. When relocating their head-off ices, changing presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries general or
equivalent posts, the associations’ leaderships must report thereon in writing to competent State
agencies:
al For associations operating nationwide or interprovincially, the associations’ leaderships shall senc
their reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the ministries performing the State management over the
branches and domains where the associations operate;
b/ For associations operating within provinces, the associations’leaderships shall send their reports to the provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services and the services underprovincial People’s Committees, which
perform the State management over the branchesand domains where the associations operate;
cl For associations operating within districts or communes, the associations’ leaderships shall send their
report to the provincialimunicipal Home Affairs Services and the district People’s Committees.
Reports on the relocation of head-offices must clearly state the new locations of the head-offices
zo

(addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers).
The associations’ reports on the change of their presidents, vice-presidents, secretaries general or equivalent posts shall be enclosed with resolutions on the election of people to the above-stated posts and the curricula vitae of new leaders.
VIII. UNIONS OF ECONOMIC ORGANIZATTONS
Apart from the rights prescribed in Article 22 of the Decree, unions of economic organizations shall also have the following rights and responsibilities:
1. To act as the standing bodies linking and urging the cooperation among member enterprises for common interests;
2. To assist member enterprises in technology transfer, managerial experiences and trade promotion,
3. To protect the legitimate interests of members in commercial disputes and conciliate disputes amono them.
lX. DlVlSlON, SEPARATION; MERGER; CONSOLIDATION; DISSOLUT|ON AND RENAMTNG OF
ASSOCIATIONS
1. The division, separation , merger; consolidation; dissolution and renaming of associations shallcomply
with the provisions of the Civil Code.
2. Under the provisions of Clause 1 , Article 28 of the Decree, if the associations fail to conduct such activities as holding meetings of their executive boards or standing boards according to their charters,
organizing other activities, for 12 consecutive months, the competent State agencies defined in Article 15
of the Decree shall decide to dissolve such associations.
3. The division, separation, merger orconsolidation of associations must be put up for discussion in their executive boards for submission to the congresses for decision. After the congresses’ resolutions on the division, separation; merger; and consolidation of associations are adopted, the associations’ executive boards shall request the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree to make decisions
thereon. The establishment of new associations after the resolutions on the division, separation, merger
or consolidation are adopted by the associations’ congresses shall comply with Article 8 of the Decree.
4. The renaming of associations must be put up for discussion in their executive boards for submission to
congresses, After the congresses’ resolutions on the renaming of associations are adopted, the
associations’ leaderships shall send reports and resolutions on the renaming of the associations and the
draft charters to the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree forconsideration and
decision.
X. HANDLING OF VIOLATIONS
‘1 . For representatives and leaderships of associations, who intentionally prolong the duration for holding
term congresses prescribed in the associations’ charters.
Within 12 months after the expiry of a congress term, if an association fails to hold its congress, the
competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree shall send documents requesting the
association to hold its congress. Within 6 months after receiving the written requestforthe organization of
the congress, if the association’s representatives or leadership still fail to hold the congress, the
competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree shall decide on the handlinq thereof bvthe
27

following methods:
a/ Suspending the administration of the associations by the associations’ representatives and appoint a member of their leaderships to temporarily administer their operations until now executive boards are elected;
b/ Holding the executive boards’ meetings requesting the setting up of preparatory boards for the organization of the congress. lf the associations still fail to hold the executive boards’ meetings, they shall be dissolved according to Clause 1, Article 28 of the Decree.
2. In case of setting up legal person organiza- tions under associations ultra vires.
The associations’ representatives must bear responsibility before law for the setting up of legal person
organizations under the associations ultra vires and the competent State agencies defined in Article 15 of the Decree shall request the associations to issue decisions to dissolve such organizations and request
the competent State agencies to revoke their seals.
3. The organization of the associations’ term congresses must be reported to:
a/ The Ministry of Home Aff airs and the ministries performing the State management over the branches
and domains where the associations operate, for associations operating nationwide or interprovincially;
b/ The provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services and the services under the provincial People’s
Committees, which perform the State management over the branches and domains where the
associations operate, for associations operating within provinces,
ci The provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services and the district People’s Committees, for associations
operating within districts or communes.
lf the organization of congresses is not reported, according to regulations, the competent State agencies
defined in Article 15 of the Decree shall request the associations to stop the organization of the
congresses or shall not approve the charters adopted by such congresses.
4. The discipline of associations’represen-tatives and leaderships shall be decided by the associations
according to their charters and law provisions, then reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the
ministries managing the branches and domains where the associations operate, for associations
operating nationwide or inter-provincially; to the provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services and the
services under the provincial People’s Committees, which perform the State management over the
domains where the associations operate, for associations operating within provinces; and the
provincial/municipal Home Affairs Services or to the district People’s Committees, for associations
operating within districts or communes.
XI RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STATE MANAGEMENT AGENCIES TOWARDS ASSOCIATIONS
1. The Ministry of Home Affairs shall assist the Government in unifying the State management over
associations, coordinate with the ministries and provincial People’s Committees in performing the State
management over associations according to Article 32 of the Decree, and have the responsibilities:
a/ To coordinate with the concerned agencies in managing the signing and implementation of
international agreements by associations according to the Government’s Decree No. 2012002/ND-CP of
February 20,2002 on the signing and implementation of international agreements by provinces,
centrallyrun cities, socio-political organizations, social orqanizations and socio-professional
28

organizations;
b/ To gatherwritten opinions of the ministries performing the State management overthe branches and domains where the associations operate when permitting the establishment; division, separation, merger, consolidation, renaming, dissolution of associations, and approving their charters, for associations
operating nationwide or interprovincially.
2. The ministries and ministerial -level agencies defined in Article 33 of the Decree shall have the
resoonsibilities:
a/ To create conditions for associations to be established in strict accordance with laws:
b/ To create conditions for associations to participate in activities withinthe domains undertheir
respectively management, according to their conditions and capabilities;
c/ To guide associations to operate in strict accordance with their regulations;
d/ To guide the provincial/municipal services, departments and branches to manage associations’
actlvities in the branches and domains under their respective management.
3. The provincial People’s Committees shall have the responsibilities:
a/To create conditions for associations to operate with efficiency and encourage associations’activities
which are associated with the performance of socioeconomic development tasks of the localities.
bi To create conditions for associations to participate in the socialization of medical, cultural, educational,
scientific and technological, and physical training and sports activities in the localities, consider and
create conditions for associations to participate
in some public services which they have conditions and capability to perform.
cl For newly-established or difficulty-hit associations, the People’s Committees of various levels shall
create conditions and help them to stabilize their operations.
4. The provincial/municipal HomeAffairs Services shall have the responsibilities:
a/ To advise and assist the provincial People’s Committees in monitoring and managing associations in
their respective localities; settle problems arising in the organization and operation of associations; and
coordinate with the concerned branches in creating conditions for associations to operate with efficiency;
bl To gatherwritten opinions of the provincial/ municipal services performing the State management over
the branches and domains where associations operate, for associations operating within provinces, or
the district People’s Committees, for associations operating within dlstricts or communes, which shall
serve as basis for expertising and submitting to the provincial People’s Committees for decision the
establishment, division, separation, merger; consolidation, renaming or dissolution of associations and
approval of their charters.
– To sum up and report on the organization, operation and management of associations in their provinces
to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
XI I. I MPLEM ENTATION ORGANIZATION
29

This Circulartakes effect 15 days afterits publication in the Official Gazette^
The ministries, the ministerial-level agencies, the agencies attached to the Government, the provinciallevel People’s Committees and associations shall have to implement this Circular. Any problems arising in the course of implementation should be reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs for study, amendment and supplementation.
Minister of Home Affairs
DO QUANG TRUNG
30

Decree 79- Grass Roots Democracy
Comment – Decree 79- “Grass roots’, democracy decree-
Decree 79- Grass root democracy decree updates and specifies tfre Grassroots Democracy Decree 29 of May 11’n 1998.Decree 79 specifies the works, which are to be directly decided, supervised and inspected by the people, models for their implementation
and responsibilities of organisations, associations and individuals in relation to the people’s
supervision and inspection. lt also spells out the role of village chiefs in building village population communities. However, the institutional framework, including the link to decentralisation policies and capacity building of local level officials, which would contribute
to the full implementation of the Decree has not been revisited.
Source:
http ://vvww. un. orq. vn/donor/civil. htrn
DECREE No. 79/2003/ND-CP The Exercise of Democracy in the:Communes
DECREE socialist republic of Vietnam
lnd e pe nde n c e- F reedo m-H a p pi n ess
No.79/2003/ND-CP i**
JULY 7.2003
DECREE No. 79/2003/ND-CP OF JULY 7,2003 PROMULGATING THE REGULATION
ON THE EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY IN COMMUNES
THE GOVERNMENT
Pursuant to the December 25,2001 Law on Organization of the Government;
Pursuant to Resolution No. 171NQ-TW of March 18,2002 of the fifth plenum of the lXth
Party Central Committee on renewing and raising the quality of the political system in
communes, wards and district townships;
Pursuant to Directive No. 10-CT/TW of March 28,2002 of the Party Central Committee’s
Secretariat on continulng to boostthe formulation and realization of the Regulation on
grassroots democracy,
At the proposal of the Minister of the Interior,
DECREES:
Article 1.-To issue togetherwith this Decree the Regulation on the exercise of
democracy in communes.
Article 2.- The Regulation issued together with this Decision shall also apply to wards
and district townships. The Minister of the lnterior shall issue documents to ouide the
a1JI

application of the Regulation on the exercise of democracy in communes to wards and district townships.
Article 3.- This Decree takes effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette
and replaces the Government’s Decree No. 29/1998/ND-cp of May 1 1 l ggg
promulgating the Regulation on the exercise of democracy in communes.
Article 4.- The ministers, the heads of the ministerial-level agencies, the heads of the
agencies
attached to the Government and the presidents of provincialimunicipal People’s
Committees shall have to implement this Decree.
On behalf of the Government
Prime Minister
PHAN VAN KHAI
REGULATION ON THE EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY IN COMMUNES
(lssued together with the Governments Decree No” 79/2003/ND-CP of Juty 7, 2003)
Chapter /
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article l.- This Regulation specifies works to be promptly informed and publicized by the
commune People’s Councils and People’s Committees (hereinafter called the commune
administrations) to people; works to be directly discussed and decided by people; worKs
to be commented by people before being decided by State agencies; works to be
supervised and inspected by people, and forms of implementing the Regulabon on the
exercise of democracy in communes.
Article 2.- The Regulation on the exercise of democracy in communes aims to bring into
full play the commune people’s right to mastery and their creativity, mobilizing the
people’s great material and spiritual strengths for socio-economic deveiopment, the
improvement of people’s lives, the raising of their intellectual standard, the maintenance
of political stability, the enhancement of unity and the building of Party organizations,
administrations and mass organizations in communes, into clean and strong ones; to
prevent and overcome the situation of degradation, red tape and corruption among a
number of officials and Party members. as well as social evils, thus contributing to the
achievement of the target of a prosperous people, a strong country and an equitable,
democratic and civilized society along the socialist orientation.
Article 3.- The promotion of the people’s right to mastery must be closely linked to the
mechanism of “the Party’s leadership, the State’s management and the people’s
mastery,” bringing into full play the representative democracy regime, raising the working
quality and efficacy of the local administrations, implementing the direct democracy
regime at the grassroots for the people to discuss and directly decide on important and
practical issues closely related to their interests and obligations.
Article4.- Democracy must liewithin the framework of the Constitution and laws, goi
JZ

handinhandwithorderanddiscip|ine,rightsmustbeinpara||elw@
acts of abusing democracy, violating the Constitution and laws and infringing upon the interests of the State and collectives as well as the rights to freedom and democracy and legitimate interests of citizens shall be resolutely handled.
Chapter ll
WORKS TO BE INFORMED TO PEOPLE
Article 5.- The commune adminislrations shall have to promptly inform and publicize the
following major works to people.
1. The State’s undertakings, policies and laws directly related to the rights and interests
of the commune people, including:
a/ Resolutions of the commune People’s Councils, decisions of the commune People’s
Committees and those of superior Authorities relating to the localities;
b/The provisions of law on administrative procedures and settlementof affairs
concerning people;
c/The State’s and local administrations’ regulations on payers and collection levels of
assorted taxes, charges and fees, as well as other obligations of people as prescribed
by current laws,
2. The communes’ long-term and annual socioeconomic development Dlans,
3. The land use plannings and plans;
4. The annual estimates and settlements of the commune budoets:
5. The estimates and settlement of revenues and expenditures of funds, programs,
projects and contributions mobilized from the people for the construction of infrastructure
and public welfare projects of communes, villages and hamlets (hereinafter villages and
hamlets shall be referred collectively to as villages) as well as their implementation
results;
6. The programs and projects directly invested in, or donated to, communes by the
State, organizations or individuals;
7. Undertakings and plans on capital borrowing for production development, hunger
elimination and poverty alleviation,
B. The adjustment of administrative boundaries of communes and adnrinistrative units
related to communes.
9. The results of the inspection, examination and settlement of negative or corrupt cases
involving commune and/or village officials,
10. The social and cultural activities, the prevention and combatof social evils, the
J-l

maintenance of security, social order and safety in communes,
1 1. The preliminary and final reviews of activibes of the commune People’s Councils and
People’s Committees;
12. The plans forgathering orexchanging land plots forlargerones in service of
economic restructuring, agricultural development, farm economy and cooperatives;
13. The consideration and selection of poor households entitled to borrow capitalfor
production development and construction of gratitude houses- the realization of policies
towards families with meritorious services to the revolution, fallen heroes’families, war
invalids and diseased soldiers who are presented with gratitude houses, savings books
and health insurance cards;
14. The results of selection, priority order and organization of implementation of works
under the programs and projects directly invested in, or donated to, communes by the
State, organizations and/or individuals.
Article 6.- The commune administrations shall have to coordinate with the Vietnam
Fatherland Front Committees, Vietnam Fatherland Front’s member organizations of the
same level and the village chiefs in supplying the information prescribed in Article 5 of
this Regulation to the people in the following forms:
1. Publicly posting up written documents at the head-offices of the commune People’s
Committees, residential quarters and cultural centers;
2. Through the public-addressing radio system of communes and villages as well as
grassroots cultural, information and propaganda organizations;
3. Organizing meetings between voters and deputies of the commune People’s Councils.
4- At the meeting sessions of the commune People’s Councils, meetings of the People’s
Committees, Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees and Vietnam Fatherland Front’s
member organizations of the same level, and village meetings.
5. Sending documents to households or village chiefs.
Chapter lll
WORKS TO BE DISCUSSED AND DIRECTLY
DECIDED BY PEOPLE
Article 7.- The people in communes and villages shall discussand directly decide on the
following works:
1. Undertakings on, and levels of, contributions for the construction of infrastructure and
public-welfare facilities (electricity supply, roads, schools, health stations, cemeteries,
cultural and sport facilities),
2. The elaboration of village codes or conventions of cultured villages, building of a
civilized lifestyle, maintenance of security and order, abolishment of bad
34

superstition and social evils;
3. Internal affairs of the village population communities, suitable to the current law provisions;
4. The establishment of boards for supervision of construction works builtwith the
people’s contributions,
5. The organization of the protection of production and business, maintenance of
security. order, social safety and environmental sanitation as well as other activities in
communes and villages.
Article 8.- Apart from the contributions prescribed in Clause 1 of Article 7, the commune
People’s Committees may coordinate with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees
and Vietnam Fatherland Front’s member organizations of the same level in propagating
and mobilizing people to make other contributions for mutual assistance, humanitarian or
charity purposes on the principle of absolute voluntariness without imposing compulsory
or arbitrary contributions on everyone.
Article 9.- Modes of implementing works directly decided by people
1. The commune People’s Committees shallformulate plans and programs; coordinate
with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees of the same level in directing and
organizing the discussion of, and decision on, works defined in Article 7 of this
Regulation by the people in one of the following forms:
a/ Organizing meetings of all people, household heads or voters representing
households in each village for discussion, open voting or secret ballot,
b/ Distributing poll cards to households to collect their opinions.
The gathering of opinions, open voting at the meeting or secret ballot on each matter
shall be decided by the people according to the provisions in Article 7 of this Regulation
and must be recorded in writing for reporting to the commune People’s Committees on
the contents of the meetings and the conclusions on voted issues.
2. The commune People’s Committees shall issue decisions to recognize the contents
specified in Article 7 of this Regulation which are compliant with law provisions and
voted for by over 50% of those participating in the meetings or those asked for their
opinions.
3. The commune People’s Committees shall coordinate with Vietnam Fathedand Front of
the same level in directing village chiefs and heads of the Front’s working boards to
organize the implementation of affairs decided by the people and recognized by the
commune People’s Committees. with the supervision bythe people’s inspectorates orthe
supervision boards for works and projects, which are elected by the people.
4. The people shall have to observe and strictly implement decisions unanimously
approved by over 50% of households in communes or villages.
Chapter lV
WORKS TO BE DISCUSSED OR
35

COMMENTEDBY PEOPLE AND DECIDED BY THE COMMUNEADMINISTRATIONS
Article 10.- Works which the commune administrations must put up for discussion or
comment by people before making decisions thereon (or before submitting to competent
authorities for decision) include:
1. Draft resolutions of the commune People’s Councils;
2. Draft plannings as well as long-term and annual socio-economic development plans of
communes, plans on economic restructuring and production restructuring as well as
plans on development of business lines and trades;
3. Draft plannings and plans on the use of land in localities as well as the management
and efficient use of public land funds of the communes;
4. Plannings on residential quarters; schemes on sedentarization and new economic
zones; plans and projects on the mobilization and use of people’s contributions for the
investment in co nstruction of communally-ru n infrastructures ;
5 Draft schemes on demarcation and adjustment of the administrative boundaries of
communes, schemes on splitting and establishment of villages;
6. Draft plans on the implementation of national target programs in the communes;
7. Undertakings and plans on compensation for ground cfearance, infrastructure
construction and resettlement;
B. Employment for laborers in the communes;
9. Other affairs which the commune administrations deem necessary,
Article 11.- Modes of implementing works discussed and commented by people before
being decided by the commune administrations (or being submitted to competent
authorities for decision)
‘1 . Based on resolutions of the commune Party Committees and resolutions of the
commune People’s Councils, the commune People’s Committees shall draft documents
and plans and coordinate with the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees and Vietnam
Fatherland Front’s member organizations of the same level in organizing the collection of
public opinions in the following forms:
a/ Organizing meetings of all people or household heads for discussion;
b/ Distributing comment-gathering cards to each household,
c/ Organizing meetings of economic organizations for discussion.
d/ Placing letter-boxes for public comments.
2. The opinions of people at the meetings or theirwritten comments must be summed up
and reported fully and objectively for the commune People’s Committees to consider and
submit them to the commune P Councils for decision accordino to
36

theircompetence or submission to superior competent authorities for consideration and
decision.
Chapter V
WORKS TO BE SUPERVISED AND INSPECTED
BY PEOPLE
Article 12.-Works to be supervised and inspected by people in communes include:
1. Activities of the commune administrations, sociopolitical organizations, social
organizations and professional organizations in the communes,
2. The results of the implementation of resolutions of the commune People’s Councils
and decisions as well as directives of the commune People’s Committees;
3. Activities and moral quality of the chairmen of the commune People’s Councils and
presidents of the commune People’s Committees, activities of deputies of the commune
People’s Councils, officials of the commune People’s Committees aswell as officials and
public servants working in the localities;
4. The settlement of local citizens’ complaints and denunciations.
5. The estimates and final settlement of commune budgets;
6. The process of organizing the construction, results of pre-acceptance tests and final
settlement of projects built with people’s contributions and projects directly invested in, or
donated to, the communes by the State, organizations and/or individuals;
7. The projects implemented by superior authorities in the communes with direct impacts
on the production, security, order, socio-cultural affairs, environmental sanitation and life
of local people,
B. The management and use of land in the communes,
9. The collection and spending of various funds and fees according to the State
regulations as well as various contributions of the people;
10. The results of the examination, inspection and handling of negative and corrupt
cases involving commune officials;
11. The implementation of the regimes and policies on preferential treatment, care and
assistance for war invalids, diseased soldiers, fallen heroes’families and people and
families with meritorious services to the country, social insurance and social relief
policies.
Article 13, Modes of implementing works to be supervised and inspected by people
The people shall supervise activities of agencies, organizations and individuals directly
themselves or indirectly through socio-political organizations, their representative
a4:tt

organizations or people’s inspection boards in the following modes:
1 . Attending personally (if being invited) or through their representative organizations the commune administrations’ meetings on matters directly related to their rights and
interests;
2. Contributing opinions on the evaluation of the biannual and annual reports on the
activities of the commune administrations;
3. Giving comments on the work reports and selfcriticisms of the chairmen of the
commune People’s Councils and the presidents of the commune People’s Committees
at the year-end final review meetings.
4. Participating in the vote of confidence for posts elected by the commune People’s
Councils,
5. Detecting agencies, organizations and individuals that infringe upon the people’s right
to mastery and show signs of corruption orwastefulness, using budget revenues and
expenditures and people’s contributions for wrong purposes, realizing programs and
projects, using and managing land, making compensation for ground clearance in
contravention of law provisions, or committing other acts of law violation, lodging
denunciations and petitions to the commune administrations and competent agencies for
clarification and settlement thereof then announcement of the settlement results,
Article 14.- Responsibilities of agencies, organizations and individuals for the people’s
supervision and inspection
1. The commune People’s Committees have the responsibility:
a/ To invite representatives of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committees, Fatherland
Front’s member organizations of the same level and directly related subjects to attend
the commune administration’s meetings on matters related to the rights and interests of
local people;
b/ To consider and settle proposals of agencies, organizations and individuals according
to their competence and notify the settlement results to the proposers;
c/ To submit to competent agencies cases falling beyond their competence.
2. The chairmen of the commune People’s Councils and the presidents of the commune
People’s Committees shall have to send to the village chiefs their reports on work
performance and their selfcriticisms at the annual review meetings for the village chiefs
to organize the collection of people’s opinions thereon.
3. Annually, the commune Fatherland Front Committees shall organize the vote of
confidence among the Front’s member organizations for key positions elected by the
commune People’s Councils. lf the proportion of votes of confidence represents less
than 50% of the participants, the commune Fatherland
Front Committees shall propose the commune People’s Councils to consider and
remove such position holders.
4. The village chiefs shall coordinatewith the heads of the Front’s workinq boards in
38

organizing meetings to gather people’s opinions on issues to Ue OeCCEO Oy tne peoptq
sum up and accurately, objectively and truthfully report the people’s opinions in writing to the commune administrations.
5. The people must not rally in large numbers, make petitions to authorities of levels higher than the prescribed ones, cause disorder and insecurity and resist persons on duty while their petitions are being considered and settled according to law provisions.
Chapter Vl
BUILDING VILLAGE POPULATION
COMMUNITIES
Article 15.- Villages are living places of the population communities where democracy is
exercised in a direct and broad manner so as to promote forms of self-managed
activities of the population communities and where people are organized to realize the
Party’s undertakings and lines, the State’s policies and laws as well as tasks assigned
by superior authorities. The commune People’s Committees shall have to direct, guide,
support, supervise and inspect activities of villages.
Article 16, Village meetings shall be organized once every six months or extraordinarily
in necessary cases, with the participation of all voters, household heads or voters
representing households, aiming:
1 . To discuss and decide on internal affairs of the population communities regarding
production, infrastructure construction, employment, hunger elimination and poverty
alleviation, solidarity and mutual assistance in production and daily-life activities, as well
as matters related to culture, social affairs, environmental sanitation, social order ano
safety in accordance with law provisions,
2. To discuss measures for the implementation of resolutions of the commune People’s
Councils, decisions of the commune People’s Committees as well as the performance of
citizens’ obligations and tasks assigned by superior authorities;
3. To discuss and give comments on the reports on work performance and self-criticisms
of the village chiefs, the chairmen of the commune People’s Councils and the presidents
of the commune People’s Committees:
4. To elect and dismiss the village chiefs, elaborate village codes orconventions; appoint
people to various boards, self-management groups or people’s inspectors,
Resolutions of the meetings shall be valid only when they are approved by at least more
than half of the participants and not contrary to law provisions.
Article 17.-Tasks and powers of the village chiefs
‘1. The village chiefs shall be directly elected by the people at village meetings,
considered and recognized by the presidents of the commune People’s Committees in
their decisions and subject to the direction and management by the People’s
Committees. The presidents of the commune People’s Committees may criticize,
caution, temporarily suspend or dismiss the village chiefs when the latter fail to fulfill their
tasks, infringe upon the people’s right to mastery or commit corrupt orwasteful acts; fail
39

to obey the direction and administration of the commune People’s Committees: viotate
laws and/or other regulations of superior authorities.
2. Tasks, responsibilities and powers of the village chiefs
a/ To assume the prime responsibility and coordinate with the Fatherland Front’s working boards and mass organizations in the villages in carrying out such activities as: convening and chairing village meetings; organizing the implementation of decisions of the villages; organizing the people to well implement
the Regulation on democracy; organizing the elaboration and realization of the village
codes or conventions- maintaining unity, order and safety in the villages; organizing the performance of tasks assigned by the commune People’s Committees; gathering and
reporting on the people’s legitimate aspirations and requesting the commune
administrations to deal with them; signing service contracts for the production and
infrastructure construction on the basis of the village meetings’ resolutions;
b/ To make biannual and annual reports on their work performance and self-criticisms
and present them before the village meetings. Annually, the Fatherland Front’s working
boards shall, togetherwith the Front’s memberorganizations in the villages, organize the
vote of confidence on the village chiefs. lf the number of votes of confidence represents
less than 50% of the participants in the voting, theyshall requestthe organization of the
village meetings to consider and dismiss the village chiefs and report such to the
presidents of the commune People’s Committees for decision;
c/ To be invited by the commune People’s Committees to attend meetings on related
issues. To make monthly reports on work performance to the commune People’s
Committees;
d/ To be entitled to participate in training and fostering courses and enjoy allowances
prescri bed by the provi n cial/mu nicipal Peo ple’s Committees.
Article lB.- Villages shall elaborate codes or conventions on internal affairs of the
population communities, inheriting and promoting the community’s fine customs and
practices in accordance with current law provisions so as to abolish bad customs,
superstition and socialevils, maintain security and order. traffic safety and environmental
sanitation and build a new, prosperous and civilized countryside.
Villagecodes or conventions shall be discussed and adopted by the village people at the
village meetings. The village chiefs shall send the adopted codes or conventions to the
commune People’s Committees. After reaching agreement with the chairmen of the
commune People’s Councils and the Fatherland Front Committees of the same level, the
presidents of the commune People’s Committees shall send official dispatches
requesting the presidents of the district-level People’s Committees to approve these
codes or conventions. The district-level Justice and Culturelnformation Sections shall
have to assist the presidents of the district-level People’s Committees in appraising the
village codes or conventions before approval.
Article 19.- Villages may establish conciliation teams, security teams, production
protection teams and construction teams. These organizations shall be set up or
dissolved according to the practical requirements of each locality. Members of these
organizations shall be elected by the people and their ation shall be manaqed and
40

directed by the village chiefs in coordination with the Fatherland Front’s working boaidr
Chapter Vll
IMPLE MENTATION PROVISIONS
Article 20.- All levels and branches shall have to build the grassroots administrations
into clean, strong, effective and efficient ones, overcoming manifestations of red tape,
irresponsibility or lack of democracy in the handling of works, to pay constant attention to
the building of the contingent of grassroots officials; to work out plans on training and
fostering in general education, professional knowledge and skills, political theory and
working methods, thus meeting the requirements of tasks in the new revolutionary
period.
Article 21.-Officials and employees of the administrations at various levels and people
shall be obliged to strictly abide by the provisions of this Regulation.
Articfe 22.-The presidents of the People’s Committees at various levels shall have to
direct the implementation of this Regulation. Biannually, the presidenls of subordinate
People’s Committees shall report on the implementation results to the presidents of the
superior People’s Committees, annually, the presidents of the provincial/municipal
People’s Committees shall report on the results of implementation of this Regulation to
the Government (through the Ministry of the Interior).
Article 23.- The Ministry of the Interior shall have to direct, guide and monitorthe
implementation of this Regulation. The Ministry of Finance shall have to direct and guide
its subordinate professional agencies to inspect the commune’s finance as well as
budget revenues and expenditures and provide professional fostering for financial staff
in communes. The State Inspectorate shall have to provide guidance on the work of
examination and inspection in communes, and professional fostering and guidance to
lhe commune people’s inspection boards. The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of
Culture and Information shall have to guide the elaboration of village codes or
conventions.
Article 24.-fhe Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and Vietnam Fatherland
Front’s member organizations are requested to direct, guide and inspect their
subordinate agencies to well perform the tasks defined in this Regulation.
Article 25.- ln the course of implementing this Regulation, organizations and individuals
that record achievements Shall be rewarded and/or commended; organizations and
individuals thatviolate this Regulation shall be handled according to the current law
orovisions.
For localities which failto implement this Regulation, or do implement this Regulation but
in a formalistic and inefficient manner, the presidents of the commune People’s
Committees shall be held responsible therefor and disciplined depending on the
seriousness of their violations. The forms of discipline applicable to the presidents of the
commune People’s Committees shalf be considered and decided by the presidents of
the district-level People’s Committees.
On behalf of the Government
41

Prime Minister
PHAN VAN KHAI
CIRCULAR No. 12I2004/TT-BNV Guiding the lmplementation of Decree 79
socialist republic of vietnam
I n d e pe n d e n c e- F re*ed o m- H a p p i n ess
FEBRUARY 20.2OO4
CIRCULAR No. 12I2004/TT-BNV OF FEBRUARY 20,2004 cUlDING THE
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT’S DECREE No.79420031ND CP OF
JULY 7,2003 ON THE REGULATION ON EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY IN
COMMUNES AND APPLICABLE TO WARDS, DISTRICT TOWNSHIPS
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No.451 2003|ND-CP of May 9,2003 defining the
functions, tasks, powers and organizationalstructure of the Ministry of Home Affairs;
Pursuant to Article 2 of the Governmenf ‘s Decree No. 79120031ND-CP of July 7, 2003
promulgating the Regulation on exercise of democracy in communes;
f he Ministry of Home Affairs hereby guides lhe implementation of a number of articles
and clauses in the Regulation on exercise of democracy in communes and applicable to
wards, district townships as follows:
Part One
GENERAL GUIDANCE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF A NUMBER OF ARTICLES AND
CLAUSES IN THE REGULATION ON EXERCISE OF DEMOCRACY IN COMMUNES
Chapter ll
THINGS NEED TO BE NOTIFIED TO PEOPLE
1. Point b, Clause 1, Article 5
The law provisions on dossiers and administrative procedures falling under the settling
competence of the commune-level administrations, which are related to people.
2. Clause 3, Article 5
The land-use plannings and plans, including those of districts, provinces or the central
CIRCULAR ***
No. 12l2004/TT-BNV
42

Government, which are related to the life of local population, must be sent Uy tfre
superior administrations to communes and the communelevel administrations have the
responsibility to inform the people thereof.
Chapter lll
THINGS TO BE DIRECTLY DISCUSSED AND DECIDED ON BY PEOPLE
3. Clause 4, Article 7
Setting up Boards for supervising projects built with people’s contributions
a) Competence to set up:
+ For communes’ projects- The presidents of the commune People’s Committees shall
assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the presidents of the commune
Fatherland Front Committees in, setting up project- supervising boards, each comprising
5-7 members, including.
– Representatives of villages, elected by people or the commune People’s Inspection
Board member appointed by the commune People’s Committee or representatives of the
Fatherland Front Committee and other mass organizations in the commune, appointed
by the commune Fatherland Front Committee.
+ For villages’ projects- The village chiefs shall assume the prime responsibility for, and
coordinate with the heads of the working boards of the Fatherland Front Committees in,
setting up projectsupervising boards after having reported thereon to, and got the
consents of, the commune People’s Committees. Such a board shall consist of 3-5
members.
b) Requirements on members of the commune- or village project- supervising boards
The members are inhabitants of villages or communes where exist the projects, who are
nominated by people at village meetings and voted for by over 50% of the number of
households or household representatives being voters at such meetings; have zeal,
responsibility, knowledge about construction techniques, materials and accounting; have
the capability to supervise construction quality and examine and compare settlement,
revenue and expenditure balancesupervising board members must not be members of
the Steering Boards for construction of projects.
c) Tasks of village or commune projectsupervising boards:
+ To work out operation regulations for submission to the commune People’s
Committees for decision.
+ To organize the performance of supervising tasks strictly according to operation
regulations, covering: the comprehensive supervision of alljobs of mobilizing, managing
and using people’s contributions for investment in the construction of projects;
supervision of pre-acceptance tests, handover and settlement of projects strictly
according to regulation and purposes in order to efficiently implement the projects; the
responsibility to detect and notify in time to competent authorities for handling all acts of
violating regulations in the course of organizing the construction of projects.
+)

d) The project-supervising boards shall automatically dissolve when the pro;ects are preacceptance tested and put to use and the warranty period has expired and at the same time the settlement of projects has been completed and the results thereof are
made public.
e) For projects of districts, provinces or the central Government, which are direcly
related to, and affect, the local people’s life, before the construction thereof, the levels
owning the projects should discuss with the People’s Committees in orderto coordinate
the implementation. The commune People’s Committees shall appoint their people to
monitor and promptly report thereon when necessary, contributing to ensuring the
project quality and maintaining environmental safety for local population.
4. Article 9
Modes of implementing things to be decided directly by peopte.
a) egarcling participants to meetings: Depending on specific conditions of each village,
after consulting with the head of the Front Committee’s working board and consented by
the secretary of the Party cell, the village chiefs shall decide on one of the three
compositions of the meeting to be participated by: The entire voters; household masters;
or voters representing households in the villages.
b) On making minutes of meetings: The village chiefs recommend secretaries of the
meetings, who must be voted for by more than 50% of the participants before performing
their tasks. The secretaries make minutes of the meetings, inscribing clearly: the
composition of invitees, the number of invitees to the meetings, the number of
participants representing in percentage (of the number of invitees); the meeting agenda;
voting resufts.
c) Forms of gathering opinions: To be decided by the participants in the meetings,
depending on the purposes, contents of the issues on which opinions should be
gathered. lt form of secret ballot is used to gather opinions of households, such can be
carried out as follow
The opinion-gathering cards must be signed at their backs by the village chiefs. The
cards must be clearly inscribed with matters to be commented, the pro- or con-opinions
of households must be reflected on their votes.
The meetings shall elect vote-counting teams, each comprising 3-5 persons who shall
elect the team leaders. The vote-counting teams shall distribute, gather and count votes,
make records on vote counting and announce the vote-counting results right at the
meetings.
d) Regarding the validity of resolutions. A resolution shall be valid only when it is voted
for by more than SOoh of the household masters or voters representing households or
the entire voters invited to attend the meetings. In cases where it is approved by less
than 50%, another meeting should be organized. Where it is unable to organize another
meeting, immediately after the meeting, cards should be distributed to eligible persons
(household masters or household-representing voters) who were invited but did to attend
the meetings (if any) in order to gather their opinions. Then, the pro-opinions of
participants in the meetings shall be added with the pro-opinions expressed in the
opinion-gathering cards; if it is approved by more than 50% of the representatives of
households in the villaoe. the commune ‘s Committee shall issue a decision to
44

recognize it.
Chapter lV
THINGS TO BE DISCUSSED AND COMMENTED BY PEOPLE, AND DECIDED BY
COM MUNE ADMINISTRATIONS
5. Clause 7, Article 10
The commune-level administrations have the
responsibility to put out for discussion or comments by people the undertakings and
plans on ground clearance compensations, resettlement, and implement in strict
accordance with law provisions the following specific contents: plannings; compensation
prices for each land category, each land position; the scheme on compensation for eacn
household; plans, location, time and conditions for resettlement, infrastructural
construction.
Chapter V
THINGS TO BE SUPERVISED AND SCRUTINIZED BY PEOPLE
6. Clause 4, Article 13
a) Posts to be elected by the commune People’s Council, including:
– Chairman and vice-chairman of the commune People’s Council;
– President and vice-president of the commune People’s Committee;
– Member of the commune Peoole’s Committee.
b) The organization of vote of confidence on posts elected by the commune People’s
Councils: Under Article 65 of the Law on Organization of the People’s Councils and the
People’s Committees. Then the commune administrations shall notify the results of
confidence vote to people.
7. Clause 3, Article 14
a) Key posts under Decree No.79/2003/ND-CP of July 7,2003 include:
– Chairman of the commune People’s Council.
– President of the commune People’s Committee.
b) Organization of implementation: To comply with the guidance of the Central
Committee of Vietnam Fatherland Front.
Chapter Vl
BUILDING OF VILLAGE POPULATION COMMUNITY
45

_I
B. Point b, Clause 2, Article 17
To comply with the guidance of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Part Two
GUIDING THE APPLICATION OF THE REGULATION ON EXERCISE OF
DEMOCRACY
IN COMMUNES TO WARDS, DISTRICT TOWNSHIPS
Communes, wards and district townships are grassroots administrative units of the same level, of which district townships and wards constitute a form of urban administrative
unit- However, besideswards in the hearts of cities orprovincialcapitals, which bearthe
development characters of a comprehensive urban center, there still exist new wards
formed from communes in the process of urbanization, which are characterized by the
mixture of urbanity and rurality, and at the same time in many district townships and a number of wards, there still exist a section of population engaged in agricultural
production. Therefore, to suit the practicalcharacters of wards and district townships, the Ministry of Home Affairs guide the application of the Regulation on exercise of
democracy in communes to wards and district townships as follows:
Specifying Article 5
Contents of information to be supplied
The ward or district township administrations have the responsibility to notify in time and
publicly the people of the following principal things:
1. The State’s undertakings, policies and laws, which are directly related to the rights
and interests of people in wards or district townships, including:
a) The resolutions of the People’s Councils, decisions of the People’s Committees of
wards or district townships and of the superior levels, which are related to the localities;
b) The law provisions on administrative procedures, the settlement of rnatters related to
people, which fall under the jurisdiction of wards, district townships;
c) The regulations of the State and the local administrations on the payers, collection
levels of assorted taxes, charges, fees and other obligations for the people under the
current law provisions;
2. Long-term and annual socio-economic development plans of wards, district
townships;
3. Land-use plannings, plans; detailed construction plannings; land assignment and
allocation; management and use of land funds in wards, district townships;
4. Annual estimates and settlement of budgets of wards, district townships;
5. Estimation and settlement of revenues and expenditures orassorted funds, programs,
46

projects, amounts contributed by people for construction of infrastructure, public-utility
facilities of wards, district townships, population groups and the implementation results;
6. Programs, projects invested or financially supported by the State, organizations
andior individuals directly for wards, district townships;
7. Undertakings, plans on capital borrowing for production development, hunger
elimination and poverty reduction;
B. The adjustment of administrative boundaries of wards, district townships and the
relevant administrative un its;
9. Results of inspection, examination and settlement of negative phenomena, corruption
committed by officials in wards, district townships, population groups;
10. Cultural and social activities, social evil prevention and combat, maintenance of
social security, order and safety of wards, district townships;
1 1. The preliminary and final reviews of activities of the People’s Councils, the People’s
Committees of wards or district townships;
12. The selection through discussion of poor households entitled to borrow capital for
production development and the construction of gratitude houses; the implementation of
policies towards families with meritorious services to the revolution, martyrs’ families,
war invalids, diseased army men, that are presented with gratitude houses, savings
books, medical insurance cards;
13. The selection results, priority order and implementation of works under programs or
projects of the State, organizations and individuals directly investing in, or providing
financial assistance to, wards, district townships;
14. The regulations on urban management (such as house and land
management,construction management, traffic order and safety, water drainage,
garbage collection and treatmentenvironmental sanitation, civil status and household
registration management … );
15. Ward ordistricttownship adminlstratlons and relevant units must notifyat least 15
days in advance the people of works to be done in the wards or district townships, which
affect the life and activities of people: Building, repairing power supply networks, roads,
water drainage, telephone lines….
16. Other works which the administrations deem it necessary to notify and the people
request to be notified thereof.
ll. Form of information supply
To comply with Article 6 of the Regulation on exercise of democracy in communes.
lll. Specifying Article 7
Contents to be discussed and decided on directly by people
i-+/

People in wards, district townships and population groups shall directly discuss and
decide on the following major things:
‘1. Undertakings, plans, contribution levels for construction, renovation, expansion of
roads, alleys, spots for entertainment, recreation and cultural activities.
2. Elaboration of conventions on urban civilized lifestyle, maintenance of social order
and security, sanitation, environmental protection, accident and social vice prevention
and combat, the election of People’s Inspection Board members.
3. Internal affairs of the population communities,population groups, in compliance with
current law orovisions.
4. Measures to realize the regulations of the administrations at all levels on urban
management.
5. The establishment of boards for supervision of construction projects financed with
people’s contributions: To comply with the section on implementation guidance for
communes (Clause 4, Article 7, Pafi. One of this Circular).
lV. lmplementation modes: To comply with the provisions of Article 9 of the Regulation
on exercise of democracy in communes and the guidance in this Circular.
V. Specifying Article 10
Things the ward/district township administrations must introduce to people for discussion
or comments before they are decided on (or submitted to competent authorities for
decision shall include:
1 . Draft resolutions on socio-economic development, security and defense of the ward/
district township People’s Councils.
2. Drafl plannings, long-term and annual plans on socio-economic development of
wards, district townships; schemes on branch and craft development, job creation for
laborers.
3. Draft schemes on delimitation and adjustment of administrative bouridaries of wards,
district townships, the establishment of population groups.
4. Undertakings and schemes on ground clearance compensations, resettlement time
limits, construction of infrastructures in wards, district townships.
5. Detailed plannings on construction within administrative land boundaries of wards,
district townshios.
6. Draft plans on deployment of national target programs in wards, district townships.
7 Other things which the ward/district township administrations deem necessary.
V1. Modes of implementation of things to be discussed or commented by people
before they are decided by the ward/district township administrations:
48

To comply with Article 11 of the Regulation on exercise of democracy in communes.
V1 1 . Specifying Article 12
Things to be supervised and inspected by people in wards, district township shall
include.
1. Activities and results of implementation of resolutions of the People’s Councils;
activities and results of implementation of decisions and directives of the People’s
Committees of wards or district townships,
2. Activities and moral qualities of the People’s Council deputies, members of
ward/district township People’s Committees and officials and public employees working
and living in wards or district townships;
3. The settlement of complaints, denunciations of citizens in the localities.
4. Ward/district township budget estimates and settlement and the revenues and
expenditures related to people’s contributions;
5. The course of organizing the implementation of projects, the results of pre-acceptance
tests and settlement of projects constructed with people’s contributions; programs and
projects directly invested in wards or district township by the State, organizations and/or
individuals and the State’s projects deployed in wards, district townships;
6. Land management and use; management of elaboration of detailed plannings in
wards, district townships,
7. Results of inspection, examination and settlement of negative phenomena and
corruption ca ses involvin g ward/district townshi p offi cials ;
B. The implementation of regimes and policies towards to social-policy families and
othersubjects (lonely elders, disabled people … );
9. Supervision of activities of agencies and units stationing in localities in the observance
of law and regulations on urban management via ward/district township People’s
Inspection Boards in coordination with People’s Inspection Boards of the above-
mentioned agencies and units.
Vill. Modes of implementation of things to be supervised and inspected by people
To complywith the provisions of Articles 13 and 14 of the Regulation on exercise of
democracy in communes and the detailed guidance in this Clrcular.
lX. Building population group communities
To comply with Decision No.13l2002lQD-BNV of December 6,2OO2 of the Minister of
Home Affairs on the promulgation of the Regulation on organization and operation of
villages and population groups as well as the guiding documents of the Vietnam
Fatherland Front Central Committee.
49

Part Three
IM PLEM ENTATION ORGANIZATION
1. This circular replaces circular No. 03/1998/ TT-TccP of July 6, 1998 of the
Government Commission for Organization and Personnel (now the Ministry of Home
Affairs) guiding the application of the Regulation on exercise of democracy in communes
to wards and district townships, and takes implementation effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette.
2. The presidents of the People’s Committees of the provinces and centrally-run cities
shall direct and implementation, examination and constant urging of, and annual
reporting on the results of, realization of the Regulation on exercise of democracy in
communes, wards, district townships to the Ministry of Home Affairs (attached with
appendices on general data under the guidance of the Central Steering Board for
implementation of the Democracy Regulation).
3. On the basis of the provisions of the Regulation on exercise of democracy in
communes and this guiding Circular, the provincial-level People’s Councils shall
elaborate specific provisions suitable to the practical situation of each type of ward,
district township. lf any difficulties and problems arise in the course of implementation,
the provincial/municipal People’s Committees are requested to send their opinions to the
Ministry of Home Affairs for study and settlement.
Minister of Home Affairs
DO QUANG TRUNG
sn

Decree 29 – Regulations on the exercise of democracy in
communes
Comment – Decree 29/1gg8/ND-CP-Regulations on the exercise of democracy in
communes
Overview of the Decree 29/CP
Communes
the Regulation of the Exercise of Democracy
Fourteen (14) major areas where people must be kept informed of changes and
revisions in areas such as law and policy; administrative procedures; local socio-
economic development strategy; land use plan; budget planning and expenditures;
state or other funded programmes; loan programmes for poverty reduction;
(Chapter 2 in the Decree 29)
Six (6) major areas where people should discuss and directly decide, such as:
people’s contribution for infrastructure development; formulation of customary rules;
formulation and monitoring the management of people created funds, etc. (Chapter
3 in the Decree 29)
Eight (8) major areas where people should discuss and be consulted before the
local government make decision, such as: draft economic development plan; draft
land use plan; draft plan for implementation of national programme on environment
and clean water, etc. (Chapter 4 in the Decree 29)
Ten (10) major areas where people should monitor and check, such as: activities of
the people councils; implementation of resolutions of the councils and decisions of
the people committees; settlement of claims; land use; expenditure of funds, etc.
(Chapter 5 in the Decree 29)
1.
2.
J-
Source:
http ://www. un. org. vn/donor/civil. htm
ln order to implement the Directive of the Central Committee of the Vietnam’s CP, the
Government has passed a number of decrees concerning grassroots democracy, e.g.
Grassroots Democracy at the Commune (Decree 29l1998/ND-CP issued May 1 1 , 1998), at
Grassroots Democracy at agencies (Decree 7111998/ND-CP dated September 8, 1998)
and Grassroots Democracy at state owned enterprises (Decree 07/1999/ND-CP issued
February 13, 1999) In those decrees, the Grassroots Democracy Decree at Commune has
been considered the legal basis for strengthening the participation of local communities at
the local level. The article 4 of the Decree requested local government be responsible for
providing information concerning policies, laws, long-term and annual socio-economic
development plans of the communes, land-use plans and annual draft budget. Besides the
rights to be informed, the Decree also stipulated the rights of citizen to be involved in
discussing and deciding the level of their contribution, in establishing local committees
monitoring construction projects contributed by citizen, and in assr)ssing activities of
People’s Committee and People’s Councilof the communes. The Decree differentiates four
levels of participation of citizen: sharing information, providing comments, participating in
decision-making and monitoring.
51

Source:
http:/iwww.asianphilanthropy.org/countries/overview_details.cfm?country=.15&id=9
DECREE’29/1998/ND€P – Re$ulations on the exerCise of,democracy in communes
REGULATIONS ON THE EXERCISE OF
DEMOCRACY IN COMMUNES
On 15 May 1998, the Government promulgated the Regulations on the exercise of
democracy in communes in conjunction with Decree No. 29/1998/ND-CP. These
regulations apply also to the wards and townships. These Regulations were to take
effects 15 days afterthe date of signing. Follows the full text of the Regulations:
FOREWORD
Democracy is the nature of our regime and State. Our Party and State always respect
and bring into full play the people’s mastery, creating an enormous strength and making
a decisive contribution to the success of our revolution.
The people’s mastery in all domains has been prescribed in the Constitution, laws and
legal documents of the State.
These Regulations only define the work to be informed and publicised by the local
administration to the people, the work to be directly discussed and decided by the
people, the work to be consulted by the people before being decided by the State
agencies, the work to be supervised and inspected by the people as well as the forms of
implementing the democracy regulations.
Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 7. The Regulations on the exercise of democracy in communes aim to bring into
full play the commune people’s mastery and creativeness, mobilise the peasants and
people’s great material and intellectual strengths for economic development, social and
political stabilisation, to enhance the rural solidarity, improve the people’s lives and
knowledge, build clean and strong Party organisations. administration and mass
organisations in communes, to prevent and overcome the problems of degradation, red
tape and corruption, thus contributing to the cause of striving for a prosperous people, a
strong country and a equitable and civilised society along the socialist orientation.
Article 2. Bringing into full play the people’s mastery must be closely linked with the
mechanism of the Party leadership, the State management and the people’s mastery,
the representative democracy regimel must be well promoted, the working quality and
efficacy of the People’ s Councils and the People’s Committees must be raised, the
‘ A regime in which lhe people are supposad lo exercise democratic rights through their
re p rc s c n l0l ivc s. [7′ ra n.s la ktrJ
52

direct democracy regime must be well implemented in localities so that the peopte can
directly discuss and decide important and practical issues which are closely associated
with their interests.
Article 3. Democracy must be within the framework of the Constitution and [other]laws;
rights must go hand in hand with obligations; democracy must go hand in hand with
order and discipline, any acts of abusing democracy to violate the Constitution and laws
and infringe upon the people’s democratic freedoms shall be firmly dealt with.
Chapter ll
WORK TO BE INFORMED TO THE PEOPLE
Article 4. Ihe local administration shall have to promptly and openly infc.rrm the people of
the following major things:
1. The State’s policies and laws.
2. The State’s and local administration’s regulations on the administrative
procedures for settling matters concerning ihe people.
3. The communes’ long-term and annual socio-economic development plans.
4. The master-plan and plans for land use.
5. Resolutions of the commune-level People’s Councils and decisions of the
commune-level People’s Committees and those of the higher-tevels relating to
the localities.
6. The annual projections and settlements of the commune budgets
7 . The projections and settlements of revenues and expenditures of funds, projects,
mobilised contributions for infrastructure construction, and public facilities of
communes, hamlets and villages as well as the results of their implementations.
8. Programs and projects directly invested or sponsored in the communes by the
State, organisations or individuals.
9. Policies and plans on lending of capital for production development, hunger
alleviation and poverty reduction.
10. Adjustments of the administrative boundaries of communes and administrative
units related to communes.
11. The results of the inspection, supervision and settlement of negative or corrupt
cases involving commune, hamlet or village officials.
12. The social and cultural activities, the prevention of and fight against social vices,
53

the maintenance of security, social order and safety in comnruner
13. The preliminary and sum-up reviews of activities of the commune people’s
Councils and People’s Committees”
14. Other things which the local administrations deem necessary and the people
request to be informed of^
Article 5. The commune People’s Councils and People’ s Committees shall have to co-
ordinate with the Fatherland Front Committees and mass organisations in communes as
well as with the village or hamlet chiefs in supplying the information mentioned in Article
4 to the people in the following forms:
1. Written documents.
2. Public posting at the offices of the People’s Committees and residential quarters
and cultural centres.
3. The public-address systems of communes, hamlets and villages arrd local
cultural, information and propagation org anisations.
4. Meetings/contacts between voters and members of the commune People’s
Councils.
5. Meetings of the commune People’s Councils, meetings of the Fatherland Front
Committees, mass organisations and associations, meetings of villages or
hamlets.
6. Semi-annual and annual meetings to review activities of the commune People’s
Councils and People’s Committees, activity reports and self-criticism statements
before people by the chairpersons of the People’s Committees and of the
commune Peoole’s Councils.
Chapter lll
WORKTO BE DIRECTLY DISCUSSED
AND DECIDED BY THE PEOPLE
Article 6. The people in communes, hamlets orvillages shalldirectly discuss and decide
the following major work:
1. Undertakings on the contributions and their levels for the construction of
infrastructures and public welfare works (power supply, roads, schools, health
centres, cemeteries, cultural and sport facilities etc.).
2. Raising of funds and their revenues and expenditures within the framework of
laws.