Merging and Troubleshooting: Overcoming Challenges

Ha Tinh province has been actively and effectively implementing the consolidation of administrative units, which has resulted in significant economic, social, and national security improvements. However, the large number of party members in the merged branches has led to a limited participation rate and quality of activities.



In Ha Tinh, after the merger of grassroots party organizations with less than 200 party members accounted for only 5.7%; from 200 to 350 party members, the ratio is 60.3%; above 350 party members, the ratio is 34%, there are 32 party units with more than 500 party members, and some party units have more than 1,000 party members. Issues related to organizational models, party member management work, and self-criticism and self-criticism regulations have not kept up with reality, greatly affecting the quality of activities of party cells and grassroots party organizations.

The leader of Thach Ha district (Ha Tinh) inspects the model of poultry farming in the new rural area

Many party units in administrative agencies merged to reduce units, but the tasks are different, so the leadership tasks of the party units are still vague. Maintaining party activities becomes more difficult because the scale and number of party members after the merger in communes/wards increases, and there is not enough space for meetings, so a party unit has to implement a resolution in 2-4 phases.

Although the Central Organization Committee has issued guidance No. 21 on the process of evaluating and classifying party committees and members, most of Ha Tinh only stopped at evaluating party committees because that process is not suitable for the actual scale of the grassroots party units. (More than 55% of village party cells have more than 40 party members, including nearly 20% of rural party cells with more than 80 party members, and there are party units with more than 170 party members) so when is the time for self-criticism and criticism according to the instructions?

The pigs on the self-sustainable agricultural technology farm of party member Tran Nam Giang, Son Truong commune, Huong Son district, with an average annual income of VND 600 million

In practice, the annual evaluation and classification of party members stops at doing self-evaluations, self-rankings, and being voted on by the party unit. The good deeds of party members are not encouraged or recognized, and the shortcomings and mistakes are not reminded or corrected, even in the case of serious violations by party members, they are handled according to the law but the party units do not grasp them in time. Moreover, in some places, the target for excellent classification is party members with positions.

The policy of merging administrative units at all levels is correct, but with communes and wards, large-scale mergers should not be carried out, leading to organizational capacity, management, and work intensity of the staff not being met. In merged communes with a population of over 10,000, an area of over 15km2, many officials are under pressure due to heavy workloads; the civil servants mainly focus on professional work; the official positions are responsible for both general management and grassroots management, so they hardly have official working hours or weekends, let alone time to think about long-term issues.

Like a machine, humans need time to rest and recharge energy, to review past work, to think about the future, especially to consider long-term orientation issues. We need to lay the foundation today to reap the benefits in many years to come. If the thinking of the officials only focuses on national flags, and they focus more on administrative work according to their functions, they cannot fully tap into all the resources at the grassroots level to create a driving force for sustainable development of each locality. “With the position of Deputy Secretary of the Party Central Committee, the deployment of resolutions, managing over 700 party members, and searching for personnel for village and communal cadres have taken a lot of time,” said Mr. Le Huu Thang, of Kim Song Truong commune, Can Loc district.

What after the merger?

The Party organization and organizations in the political system operate according to principles, purposes, according to regulations, legally protected, therefore, mergers and downsizing must be synchronous and an extremely important lever to build a strong organizational system, without contradictions and breaking the existing structure of the organizational system, without losing the survival ability of the organization.

In the reality of Ha Tinh and nationwide, more than 50% of party units have more than 350 party members, more than 55% of rural party cells have more than 50 party members, so how should the organizational scale and specific measures change to prevent violating the Party Regulations and Regulations of the political system, to improve the quality of the activities of the machinery? Why should a resolution at party units be organized 2-4 times? Why do party cell activities usually have only over 50% of the party members present? If these issues cannot be explained, the merger will contradict the goal of consolidating and enhancing the fighting strength of grassroots party organizations and the quality of party members and political organizations.

Moreover, unreasonable scales affect the implementation of grassroots democratic laws. Mr. Nguyen Tien Dat, Secretary of the Thanh Binh Thinh commune Party Committee (Duc Tho) raised the question: “Due to the large scale of the village, it is very difficult to organize village meetings. Each village has over 200-500 households, some even have 700 households, but normally only 60-70 people attend the meetings. If only representative democracy is applied, with one representative per household, there is not even enough space to hold the meetings. When we say “the people know, the people discuss, the people do, the people inspect” but most of the instructions are passed through the grassroots broadcasting system from top to bottom, without being thoroughly deployed, the people do not have the opportunity to discuss and contribute ideas, and there is no majority voting, how can we call it “taking the people as the root”? Whenever the people are not clear, the consequences are unpredictable.”

Many dedicated party members evaluate that in addition to individuals and organizations that have deep directive style, follow closely, and point out specific things that need to be fixed and done, as well as clearly define the time and responsibilities of each collective and individual, there is still the tendency to make generic judgments by just a few words, thus not enhancing the responsibilities of party committee and grassroots officials. That is why there is a need for sanctions and guarantee factors, if the transformation is not good, the responsibilities of the collective and individuals need to be clarified, even through organizing measures to rearrange officials, not waiting until the end of the term. If we can do that, there will definitely be no avoidance phenomenon, no stream flowing away as happening in many places nowadays.