Impact Assessment

Evaluation of RIA Implementation in Vietnam 2009-2010, 2011

    The number of legal normative documents (“LNDs”) in Vietnam has increased very fast in recent years. However, Vietnam is in lack of a systematic tool to ensure that LNDs bring about more benefits than costs to the society. To maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of LNDs there needs to be a mechanism to control the quality of the legal development process. Regulatory Impact Assessments (“RIA”) is a tool that can serve that role. The Socialist Republic of VietNam is the first country in the ASEAN region to officially adopt and implement RIA after the Law on Promulgation of Legal Normative Documents (effective as of 1 January 2009) was passed.

    This evaluation report examines the implementation of RIA in the 2009 to 2010 period.

    Summary of results
    The evaluation report shares the following findings about the opinions from drafting and appraising officials:
    • 90% of all ministry officials are aware of RIA, but only 55% actually knew that RIA is the process of policy analysis. Only 43% of drafting officials said they had been trained in RIA. 87% of drafting officials would like either basic (83%) or advanced (91%) training in RIA.
    • 100% of appraising officials and 93% of drafting officials feel that RIA is necessary in Viet Nam. However, as much as 72% of ministry officials feel it is difficult or very difficult to implement RIA in Viet Nam.
    • 90% of ministry officials feel that RIA improves the quality of legal instruments.
    • In general, ministry officials said the most critical factors affecting the implementation of RIA are financial resources and the analysis skills of officials. Other critical factors included the commitment of top leadership, the need for an independent quality monitoring agency, and propaganda and dissemination of RIA. With regard to compliance and quality of RIAs, this report shows both encouraging results and areas that needs improving. Compliance of RIA requirement improved from 2009 to 2010 with the number of RIA reports vis-à-vis the number of law projects increased from 1/20 to 22/25. However, the quality of RIA reports are alarmingly low with an average score of just over 1 on the scale of 0-4 (4 means maximum possible score).
    The report also identifies major factors affecting the implementation of RIA in Vietnam currently, namely: (i) staff’s capacity; (ii) financial resources; and (iii) leaders’ commitment. As such, pivotal elements in successful implementation of RIA in Vietnam are appropriate political and financial investments, and the rewards usually outweigh the costs. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in the report on Vietnam’s administrative and regulatory reform, “Cutting Red Tape,Aministrative Simplification in Viet Nam: Supporting the Competitiveness of the Vietnamese Economy”, estimates that for every VND spent on RIA, VND 100,000 of costs will be saved for Vietnamese enterprises.

    The report concludes with recommendations on how to address some of the concerns and challenges identified in the evaluation.