LAngsith's presentations on local administration development @ japan 2009
Country Paper Lao P.D.R Training Course Topic:“Enhancement of Local Government Administration and Public Services (Participatory Local Development)” JICA (Osaka) Japan, Aug. 17 to Oct. 10, 2009 By: Langsith THANASOUK (Mr.) T.O. of the Department of Public AdministrationDevelopment (DPAD), Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA), Prime Minister’s Office.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic was established in 1975 as a sovereignstate. The area of land is 236.800 sq km, whole country has a multi-ethnicpopulation of 6.8 million with a growth rate of 2.3%, birth rate of 33.94/1,000and death rate of 11.02/1,000 per annum (August 2009 est.) over 70% of thepopulation resides in rural areas. Per capita GDP stands at around US$ 330(2002) and 2005 average GDP per capita reached US$ 490 with a growth rateof 6% per annum. The new government’s Socio-Economic Development Plan(NESDP) and Government’s policy 11 Programs and 111 Projects for the period2006-2010 is boost economic growth to reach the project annual rate of 7.5%and to achieve a GDP per capita of US$ 800 by 2010. Total revenue isexpending in line with increasing investments in mining and power which willprovide a sound basis for planned public expenditure reforms. Although thepercentage of population living below the poverty line decreased from 48% in1990 to an estimated 31% the country remain one of the 13 least developed inthe Asia Pacific region and ranks 133 out of 177 in the global HumanDevelopment Index (2005).
Laos has been known since ancient times as Lan Xang, or Land of theMillion Elephants (Lan Xang Kingdom) which established in the 14thCentury (Anno Domini 1353) by King Fa NGum Maharaj. For 300 yearsLan Xang had influence reaching into present-day.After centuries of gradual decline, Laos came under the domination ofSiam (Thailand) from the late 18th century until the late 19th centurywhen it became part of French Indochina. The Franco-Siamese Treaty of1907 defined the current Lao border with Thailand.In December 02, 1975 Laos had liberty from the United Statesprotectorate and built new regime lead by President Souphanouvong andPrime Minister Kaysone PHOMVIHANE. A gradual return to privateenterprise and the liberalization of foreign investment laws began in1986 and open the country to international relations. Then, Laos becamea member of ASEAN on July 23, 1997 and other parties’ member of theworld up to now.
Laos Administrated by the rule of laws, theconstitution of Lao P.D.R was promulgated onAugust 15, 1991 and amended on May 06, 2003.•Head of state: President Lt. Gen. ChoummalySAYASONE (since June 08, 2006);•Vice President: BounNhang VORACHIT (since June08, 2006);•Head of Government: Prime Minister BuasoneBOUPHAVANH (since June 08, 2006);•Deputy Prime Ministers: -Maj. Gen. Asang LAOLI (since May 2002); -Maj. Gen. Duangchai PHICHIT (since June 08, 2006); - Dr. Thongloun SISOULITH (since 27 March 2001); and - Mr. Somsavath LENGSAVAT (since 26 February 1998).
Cabinet: Ministers appointed by president, approved by National Assembly;Prime minister nominated by president and elected by National Assembly;Governmental Organizations consists: Prime Minister’s Office which isgovernment’s office, 14 Ministries and the Bank of the Lao P.D.R as below:1. National Defence Ministry;2. Ministry of Public Security;3. Ministry of Foreign Affairs;4. Ministry of Finance;5. Ministry of Justice;6. Ministry of Planning and Investments;7. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry;8. Ministry of Industry and Commerce;9. Ministry of Energy and Mines;10. Ministry of Public Works and Transport;11. Ministry of Education;12. Ministry of Health;13. Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare;14. Ministry of Information and Culture;15. Bank of the Lao P.D.R.
1. Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA);2. Autorité Nationale Pour les Sciences et la Technologie (A.N.S.T);3. National Tourism Administration (N.T.A);4. Water Resources and Environment Administration (WREA);5. Autorité Nationale des Postes et Télécommunications (A.N.P.T);6. National Land Management Authority (N.L.M.A);7. National Sports Committee (N.S.C);8. State Inspection Agency (S.I.A);9. State’s Audit Office (S.A.O);10. National Academy of Social Sciences (N.A.S.C).
Local Administration in Laos divides by 3 levels (Province, District and Village),There are 17 Provincial levels (Capital city and Provinces), 142 Districts and 9.177Villages (May 2009). Names of provinces level as follow:1. Vientiane (the Capital city);2. Vientiane Province;3. Phongsaly Province;4. Huaphan Province;5. Luang Namtha Province;6. Borkeo Province;7. Oudomxai Province;8. Luang Prabang Province;9. Xayaboury Province;10. Xieng khuang Province;11. Borlikhamxai Province;12. Kham Muane Province;13. Savanhnakheth Province;14. Salavan Province;15. Xekong Province;16. Attapeau Province; and17. Champasak Province.
Ever since the creation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 1975,governance has played an important role in the country’s goals to consolidate thenation-state, create national unity and establish the basis for sustainable andequitable development.The Lao P.D.R has been moving steadily from a command economy to a marketeconomy, attempting to incorporate even the remotest rural areas in a process toensure sustainable growth, increased food security and greater opportunities forpeople’s participation. Achieving this cannot be possible without a strong, stableand enabling Government that is able to meet the needs of the people. It is onlypossible with appropriate socio-economic management tools and systems thatmust be constantly adjusted over time to reflect ever-changing realities. But mostof all, it is only possible with the full involvement of the Lao people whoseparticipation in the development process is being constantly enhanced throughthe simultaneous achievement of strong national capacity and a well-functioningmarket economy, supported by a strong legal system that ensures fair access tojustice for all citizens.
Lao PDR is a people’s democratic state, a state of the people, by the people and for the peoplewhere all powers of the state are the powers of the people. The reform of the people’s democraticstate aims at upholding the right of self-reliance of the people and ensuring the benefits for thepeople. Improving people’s democracy consists of strengthening the political and administrativesystem which aims at fulfilling the twin strategic tasks: protecting and developing the nation.Public Administration reform is essential due to the fact that public administration or governanceis one of the most important tasks and is the deciding factor for ensuring success in theimplementation of the Party’s policy guideline as well as the State laws and regulations. Since thefounding of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Government has made enormous efforts toimprove the political and administrative system to keep pace with the changing situation and withthe economic and social expansion in the country by emphasizing regional and internationalintegration. As a result, the political and administrative system of the country has beenstrengthened and is able to ensure the management of the state and the society as well as thepromotion of socio-economic growth. With respect to governance and public administrationreform, the Government has stressed the need to improve regulations and the state organizationsystem, enhancing people’s self-reliance and participation, developing the rule of law andmanaging the economy to ensure stability by enhancing transparent financial management andraising the level of accountability as these are critical elements for reaching the goals of nationaldevelopment.
In order to enable governance and public administration reform to enhance, directly orindirectly, the implementation of the 6th Five-year National Socio-Economic DevelopmentPlan (NSEDP) 2006-2010 the Government implementation development of publicadministration. This important strategy will emphasize implementation of reform in fourmain areas, namely: “public service improvement, people’s participation, rule of law andsound financial management” in Local Administration.Achieving good “governance” is by definition a long-term process. This process gained amajor momentum with the adoption of the revised Constitution as the most importantreference to achieve the rule of law. In the current historical period, the Government facesan increased urgency to address governance issues, particularly in order to achieve thetargets of the National Socio-Economic Development Plan 2006–2010 including theNational Growth and Poverty Eradication Strategy targets outlined in 2004.Governance is emphasised as a cross-cutting priority, and defined as a “vital link betweeneconomic growth and poverty eradication, and an essential condition for moving beyondthe status of an LDC by the year 2020”.
The National Assembly, as the supreme body representing the rights and powers of thepeople, has performed its role as the people’s representative and has made a number ofrecent achievements. During the past five years, the National Assembly has adopted anumber of laws which increases the number of laws currently available in our country. Thisdevelopment continues to create a favorable condition for the measured transformation toa state of law or the rule of law. So far, eighty laws have been passed, of these: 11 laws are inpublic administration area there are: Constitution of the Lao P.D.R; Law on National Assembly; Law on Election of Member of the National Assembly; Law on Government of the Lao P.D.R; Law on Local Administration; Law on Military Service; Law on Local Administration; Law on Anti-corruption; Law on monitoring and Inspection of the National Assembly; Law on Military of the Lao people’s Army; Law on Development and Protection of Women.
The Public Administration and Civil ServiceAuthority (PASCA), is a state organization at centrallevel within the organizational structure of thePrime Minister Office. It has an advisory role for thegovernment in the management and structuralimprovement of government organizations atcentral and local levels; civil service management;study and determination of regulations onestablishment of civil society organizationsthroughout the country.
Chart of PACSA Madam Bounpheng MOUNPHOXAY Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Chairperson of PACSA Vice Chairperson (1) Vice Chairperson (2) Mr. Khammoune VIPHONGXAY Mr. Syphouk VONGPHAKDY Cabinet Office Department of Public Department of Local Department of Civil Civil Servant Training Administration Development Administration (DLA) Service Management Center (CSTC) (DPAD) (DCSM)Division of Planning and Division of Organizational Division of Local Administrative Division of Civil Service Division of Administrative Summarizes Development Improvement Management InspectionDivision of Administrative Division of Administrative Division of Municipality and Urban Division of Development and Division of Curriculum and Personnel Regulatory Development Administrative Evaluation Development and Training Division of Publications & Division of Social Division of Public Service Division of Policy and Division of Civil Servant International Relations Organizations Management Development Retirement Information Division of Finance Division of Information and Statistic
In order to strengthen the public administration operation efficiency, thegovernment of Lao PDR endorsed 11th Program, aims to improveeffectiveness of public administration 2006-2010 as the follow:1. Project on Decentralization between Central and Local Levels;2. Project on Governance and Public Service Delivery Improvement;3. Project on Job Descriptions and Re-staffing in the Government Agencies;4. Project on Remuneration and Compensation Improvement;5. Project on Improvement and Strengthen Capacity of District Level;6. Project on Training and Strengthen the Capacity of Villages;7. Project on Recruitment and Retention Civil Servant in the Projects and Rural Area;8. Project on Performance Appraisal Management of Civil Servants;9. Project on Anti-Corruption and Negative phenomena in the Public Sector;10. Project on Municipal Establishment.
Major issues in public administration reformImprove State Management Regulations andAdministrative FrameworkReform of Organizational Machinery andAdministrative Framework of State AgenciesImprovement of Civil Service Management; andStrengthen Central-Local relationships
Improving Arbitration FunctionImproving ImprovingDisseminationof Legal Info. Rule of Law Legal Enforcement Predictility Strengthen Judiciary
To identify roles, authorities and duties more clearly based onministries that mainly play role in society. To inspect enforcedlegal activities, which were effective, which should beimproved or rebuilt;To fix the state mechanism, effectively carry out and resolvevarious problems which are obstacles to administration andservices. The mechanism of ministerial level, local levelshould be compact and suitable;To solve disheartened issues of government staff by propermeans based on regulations and laws;To replace managerial and technical staffs that are importantto proper positions, strengthen organizations andtransparencies, enable to control in general and moreeffectively manage sectors.
Develop the laws and regulations which are the basis for the rule of lawincluding management in the justice, public administration, social, economicand service sectors.Improve the organizational machinery of the Government and the governancesystem in order that they may become stable, rationale, effective which canfacilitate better service delivery to the people.Develop the civil service equipped with knowledge and skills in various fieldsthrough systematic and continued training and development including strongpolitical ideology, ethical conduct, and transparency in service delivery; toprevent corruption and other negative social phenomenon within the publicservice system. At the same time, to conduct the study on policies to make civilservants motivated and active in performing their works through reasonableremuneration and allowance system.Improve the relationship between central and local levels by specifying clearlythe roles, functions and rights; decentralize the responsibilities together withthe rights of decision-making to local level authorities in accordance withspecified rights to enable them to make decisions by themselves.
Governance is at the heart of Lao PDR movement towards sustainablehuman and economic development. It is a vital link between economicgrowth and poverty reduction and an essential condition for movingbeyond the status of less developed country by the year 2020.Indeed, good administration reform requires strong leadership capableof providing vision and of adapting to the changing environment. Itrequires the ability to implement that vision by bringing together keyplayers from government, civil society and the business community.Leadership also includes the willingness and ability to shareinformation, power and control according to existing capacities,knowledge and skills. It is important to combine this flexibility with afirm dedication to protect national values and domestic organizationalculture, whenever appropriate.