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Vietnam is catching up with the digital trend in government administration by launching its e-notary service on July 1, according to the Minister and Head of the Government Office, Mai Tien Dung. According to him, the government is working with agencies to provide a service allowing citizens to certify electronic copies of original documents.

This is considered to be a major step forward in the building of e-government. Vietnam’s national public service portal, an electronic platform to connect the Government with citizens and enterprises, has attracted at least 41 million accesses 6 months since its launch. Less than 160,000 accounts have been registered on the portal, with more than 9 million records synchronised and 102,000 records dealt with. At present, the portal is providing 458 online public services, with 203 for citizens and 266 for businesses.

The Government issued Decree 45 on administrative procedures for the use of electronic documents, electronic and digital signatures and electronic transactions. The purpose of the e-copy certification service is to save citizens from the unnecessary process of having to present hard copies on the national public service portal.

The Ministry of Justice also found that Vietnam would be able to save around 428 billion VND (~18.4 million USD) if 30 percent of the digital certification copies were reused, out of more than 102 million notarised documents in 2019. The new service would allow people to book appointments for their documents to be certified. An e-notary copy would also include a digital signature and seal of competent agencies to guarantee its integrity, accuracy and reusability, according to the director-general of the Government Office’s Administrative Procedure Control Department. The e-copies will be as valuable as the original documents.

The head of the Government Office also asked for a tight collaboration and supervision of agencies to ensure a smooth operation in electronic transactions and payments. Agencies are now working hard to perfect the legal framework and mechanism for the launching of the service.

Reported by: Skylar Bui

Image from: Thompson Coburn LLP

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