Politicians and managers should consider Vietnam and others in Southeast Asia as a role model for a country with small but effective public services, according to a new report comparing global public sector performance.
The report by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a large professional body of management accountants, said Vietnam is a less obvious candidate for a role model, but it has a public sector worth modeling, along with Singapore.
"Both have small and efficient public sectors," the report said.
Vietnam is listed among the countries with "low" GDP per head but "medium" public expenditure.
The report highly praises the country's efforts in decentralizing its economy and simplifying its administrative procedures.
Since the end of the war in 1975, Vietnam has transformed its economy from an impoverished, centrally planned economy into a mixed and fast-growing economy, the report said.
With GDP growth between 5 to 8 percent in recent years, Vietnam has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
Central and local governments also are working on a solution, "Project 30," launched in 2007 to simplify and reduce major administrative procedures by 30 percent.
A single, national database was created of the more than 5,700 administrative procedures in effect in Vietnam, and has assessed them against three criteria: whether they are necessary, whether they are user-friendly, and whether they are legal.
The project has proceeded slowly. But the gains so far have reached what the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) called a "defining moment," The Guardian said in a report published on Tuesday.
OECD recommended other countries, especially developing and transitional ones, learn from Vietnam's approach to improve and simplify their regulatory frameworks.