March 30, 2013
A lack of concrete devolution of responsibilities, and regulations and experience in this regard, has resulted in shortcomings in the Sam Sang (Three Builds) directive of the information, culture and tourism sectors.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism reached the conclusion at a meeting which opened yesterday to review the sector’s implementation of the six-month first phase of the pilot project of the Three Builds directive. “Improper understanding in regard to devolution and non-concrete supporting regulations has resulted in shortcomings in practical terms,” it was detailed in the meeting report.
The ministry, along with other ministries and government agencies, started the pilot of the Three Builds initiative last October, aiming to work closely to monitor programmes, projects and activities at every level to ensure they are being carried out in line with the directive.
Experience in the pilot implementation period has shown that provincial departments and district offices of information, culture and tourism are confused as to which duties and activities come under their responsibility, and which ones the ministry is directly responsible for.
The ministry has recognised that because the Three Builds is a strategic and highly revolutionary initiative that has be en devised in response to modern day requirements, Party committees, leaders at all levels, members and staffers should fully understand the directive. They also need to have ideological unity and work towards the systematic and comprehensive implementation of the plan.
The ministry has sent officials to survey the needs of the information, culture and tourism sectors in eight provinces, in order to devolve responsibility. This means that departments under the ministry will now concentrate on macro management. The Sam Sang pilot project involves 17 provinces, 51 districts and 108 focal villages nationwide.
The Three Builds directive aims to build up provinces as strategy-making units, districts as comprehensively strengthened units, and villages as development units.
From the lessons learned, the ministry has studied ways to adapt the established devolution in the sector to match the requirements of the third Politburo Resolution. This stipulates that the ministry is responsible for the implementation of directions, strategic plans, regulations and development of laws, personnel development planning, science and technical research, as well as monitoring.
In the field of information, the newly adapted devolution plan stipulates that the ministry will take sole responsibility for drafting and implementing Party directions into strategic plans, programmes, projects, and regulations. However, the ministry and its provincial departments have to cooperate on numerous issues, such as human resource development planning for sub-sectors.
In regards to culture, the ministry will study and comment on technical issues in relation to any projects that may have an impact on culture, while the provincial authorities will monitor and comment on those projects which may have an impact on culture in their own provinces. The review meeting, which is being attended by officials from all provincial information, culture and tourism departments, will run until tomorrow.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Prof. Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, who is head of the committee responsible for the ministry’s T hree Builds programme, stressed that some fundamental work has been completed during the pilot implementation period.
Prof. Dr Bosengkham also focused on the shortcomings of the project, saying implementation was not only deficient, but that visits by central level officials to the provinces had burdened local officials in regards to reception arrangements.
He called on participants to actively engage in discussion on the outcomes and lessons learned from the past phase, and plan for the implementation of the directive in the next phase, ensuring there are improved outcomes and concrete devolution.