By 2020, every Vietnamese citizen could be granted a code as a part of efforts to simplify administrative procedures and facilitate population database management.
Under the draft plan prepared by the Justice Ministry, a 12-digit resident identification number in the national population database, which is unique and unchanged, will be given to every Vietnamese citizen when birth certificates are issued.
The number will be used for identifying a person not only in the national population database, but also other databases of different government agencies.
Any Vietnamese registering for a birth certificate before the Civil Status Law takes effect on January 1, 2015 will have their code number issued by provincial or district police departments in their locality when applying for new identity cards, renewing them or registering permanent residencies.
From 2015 onwards, the commune People's Committee will issue the code.
Under the draft plan, all citizens will be given their codes between 2015 and 2020.
Data compiled by the ministry show that each Vietnamese citizen uses about 20 different identity papers.
Most administrative procedures require citizens to prove their identity by producing and certifying the copies of various papers, and the cost of doing this is estimated at some VND4.8 trillion (over US$229 million) every year.
The ministry says that at present, each government agency can only have information about a certain population segment and the government finds it difficult to collate data on the whole population. The new code is expected to make it much easier for the government to do so.
One of the officials involved in preparing the draft plan, who requested anonymity, said the identification code and the national population database will reduce the amount of papers Vietnamese citizens have to produce when they undergo any administrative procedure.
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