Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai: Necessity of Law on Professional Engineering practice in Vietnam
Currently, ASIAN community has 8 countries that have promulgated the Law on Professional Engineering practice. However, in Vietnam, there are conflicting opinions around the drafting of this Law, is it necessary to have a law on professional engineering practice? Reporter has an interview with Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai - Vice President of VUSTA - also a Member of the 14th National Assembly, who is very dedicated to accelerating the process for the National Assembly to soon enact the Law on Professional Engineers in Vietnam.
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai - Vice President of VUSTA, Member of the 14th National Assembly
Reporter: Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai, can you summarize the process of forming a draft Law on Professional engineering practice to submit to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly for consideration and approval by the 14th National Assembly?
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai: In 2001, VUSTA assigned the Construction Association to pilot the ASEAN Professional Register (APE). The Vietnam Construction Association has researched and established a professional selection process, organized an evaluation board, selected 19 engineers to meet the ASEAN professional engineer registration (APE) standards and held the ASEAN professional engineer certificate award ceremony for these engineers. These are the first professional engineers in Vietnam to receive the ASEAN Professional Engineer (APE) certificate.
In order to continue to complete the professional engineer registration of our country, in 2006, VUSTA made a decision to establish the Vietnam Engineering Register Council. The Vietnam Engineering Register Council is responsible for developing the registration of Vietnamese professional engineers: On the basis of results and experience in registration of construction engineers, the proposal is submitted to the competent state agencies to permit the registration of Vietnamese professional engineers; completing the professional engineer registration process; building standards for professional engineers; guiding to implement the registration of professional engineers.
On the basis of the Party's directing documents, the provisions of the Constitution, the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents, with the responsibility of being a member organization of the Vietnam Fatherland Front, VUSTA conducted the research, summarized the practical engineering activities in Vietnam, experience, international law and other related activities to prepare the application for the formulation of the Law on Professional Engineering practice (Application to request to develop the Law) in accordance with the state law.
Reporter: I know the fact that, because scientists think this is a very urgent matter, in 2018, VUSTA asked the Government for approval to lead the development of the Law on Professional Engineering practice?
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai: Yes, on December 17, 2018, VUSTA sent a written request to the Government Committee for the approval of VUSTA to lead the development of the Law on Professional Engineering practice. On January 11, 2019, VUSTA sent official dispatch and draft application to the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice for consultation.
At the same time, we uploaded the documents in the Application to request law formulation on the website VUSTA.vn for comments. After receiving comments from a number of ministries, VUSTA studied, learned and completed the documents of the application requesting for law formulation. On January 31, 2019, the proposal for law formulation was sent to the Government for consultation.
According to the provisions of the Law on Promulgation of Legal Documents, proposals for law formulation must be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly before March 1st every year. Therefore, on February 28, 2019, VUSTA submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly a proposal to develop the Law on Professional Engineering practice. After receiving comments from the Government, the Ministries of Justice, Home Affairs, Finance, Foreign Affairs, the Science, Technology and Environment Committee of the National Assembly and a number of other ministries, sectors and agencies, the VUSTA has seriously studied, perceived and revised documents of the application for the Law on Professional Engineering practice.
On May 28, 2019, the Vietnam Union continued to submit to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, an application proposing the construction of the Law on Professional Engineering practice was significantly completed compared to the application submitted on February 28, 2019.
At the 7th session of the 14th National Assembly, the Report on the explanation, reception and revision of the draft Resolution on the 2020 law/ordinance formulation program, the amendment of the Law/Ordinance formulation program dated October 6, 2019 of the National Assembly Standing Committee stated: "Regarding the draft Law on Professional Engineering practice: on May 28, 2019, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations has sent the application to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly. The Standing Committee of the National Assembly will consider it; if the case is eligible, it will be added to the Program”.
Reporter: So, at present, what is the problem of passing the Law on Professional Engineering practice in Vietnam that you as well as Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations scientists are very passionate about?
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai: So far, most of the ministries and committees of the National Assembly have basically agreed on the need to develop and enact laws to implement Directive 42 of the Politburo, to meet the requirements of forming the contingent of intellectuals in the period of accelerating national industrialization and modernization, promoting and taking advantage of the opportunities of international integration in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. However, there are some opinions that the recently enacted laws have fairly sufficient regulations on the practice of professional engineers in the economic and technology sectors. Therefore, if now promulgating the Law on Professional Engineering practice, there will be overlaps. There are some other comments that suggest clarifying the scope of the adjustment, the subject of application and commenting on other issues.
Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations has seriously researched and perceived the opinions of relevant agencies; a review of about 30 laws mentioned by some agencies shows that only very few laws regulate the practice of engineering; regulations on professional criteria and standards in a number of domains. In industries with more broad regulations on the practice of engineering, they are Construction Law and Architecture Law. Most other economic-technical laws have not yet regulated the practice of professional engineering. At the same time, Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations has also reviewed, revised and clarified the scope of regulation, the subject of application of the Law and revised and completed other documents in accordance with the law on Application of application for law formation. We would like to attach a checklist of regulations on professional engineering practice in the current legal system.
Reporter: Will the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations continue to pursue, sir?
Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai: Of course, right in the Proposal of the Government at the 9th session on the 2021 law/ordinance formulation program and the revision of the 2020 law and ordinance formulation program, there are principles of the program, in which the first principle is emphasized is: “To prioritize projects into the Program to implement resolutions and conclusions of the Central Conference, the direction of the Politburo, the Secretariat; to continue to concretize the Constitution; ... to meet urgent requirements for socio-economic development and international integration”.
In that spirit, the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations once again submitted to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly the proposal to develop the Law on Professional Engineering practice that has been more comprehensively revised than the application submitted in May 2019 on the basis of research and receive the opinions of agencies, organizations, experts and international experience...
Reporter: Thank you for the information, I hope your enthusiasm and wishes as well as that of VUSTA scientists in particular, as well as that of Vietnamese scientists in general will soon come true.