State Treasury to run the pilot programme on automated payments

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The State Treasury is running the pilot of automated payments for electricity, water and telecommunications services periodically as authorized by the budget-using unit.

Hanoi State Treasury paid for 1,069 units

Hanoi State Treasury is one of the units that piloted automated payments for electricity, water and telecommunications services in Hanoi from July 2021 to September 2021. There are nine State Treasury units participating in the pilot project: Ba Dinh, Tu Liem, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Hoang Mai, Ha Dong, Quoc Oai, Chuong My, and Me Linh.

So far, 1,897 budget-using units have signed documents authorizing the Treasury to pay electricity, water and telecommunications service charges. Hanoi State Treasury has successfully paid telecommunications service charges for 1,069 budget-using units with an amount of VND710 million; paid electricity and water services for 266 budget-using units with an amount of over VND1.8 billion.

According to Nguyen Manh Duc, Head of State Accounting Division, Hanoi State Treasury, as a pilot unit, Hanoi State Treasury had taken careful preparation. However, because the pilot time was right when Hanoi implemented the 4th phase of social distancing following Directive 16, the documents were based on agreements and authorization between the parties: State Treasury, VietinBank, VNPT and budget-using units faced many difficulties and took a long time and affecting their implementation.

Notably, in the authorization document of the budget-using unit with the State Treasury, there is a regulation that the authorization for the State Treasury is to automatically pay for electricity, water and telecommunications services only apply in the case of a budget-using unit that has an account opened at State Treasury corresponding to a customer code. While the majority of budget-using units made payments for electricity, water, and telecommunications services through two or more accounts and different funding sources.

Therefore, every month, the unit must determine the allocation of service costs corresponding to the account, the funding source related to the services. Thereby, the unit proactively prepares payment documents from an appropriate account and funding so some units did not authorize payments to the State Treasury.

According to the representative of the State Treasury, in fact, many budget-using units are not interested in authorizing the State Treasury because the transaction units can actively print and manage electronic invoices, money transfer documents and payments with service providers.

Many benefits

Currently, the State Treasury of Ho Chi Minh City is also piloting automated payments for electricity, water and telecommunications services at 11 affiliated units: District 1, District 3, District 4, District 5, District 8, District 10, District 11, Phu Nhuan, Binh Thanh, Go Vap and Tan Binh. According to the statistics, there are 594 budget-using units that have signed the authorization document on paying to the State Treasury and the Ho Chi Minh City State Treasury has successfully paid telecommunications service charges for 203 budget-using units with an amount of VND214 million; payment of electricity and water charges for 78 budget-using units with an amount of VND926 million.

Although this is a new service, through the evaluation of budget-using units, the automated payment of electricity, water and telecommunications services has brought many benefits to the parties.

Specifically, the budget-using unit can reduce costs and reform administrative procedures because the unit does not have to submit monthly payment requests. At the same time, State Treasury officers can reduce processing time and workload, thereby focusing on controlling high-risk expenditures, helping to improve the management efficiency of the State Treasury. The state budget can reduce payment fees that are payable to banks. And service providers save money and time to collect fees.

To overcome the shortcomings aiming at widely implementing the automated payment of electricity, water and telecommunications services across the country, the State Treasury units participating in the pilot are proposing and recommending the State Treasury to build connections and deploy services according to the electronic payment process, streamlining in the following direction: State Treasury receives payment statements (formatted list) on the payment program, interface directly into Tabmis (Treasury and Budget Management Information System) to identify the account code of each unit and make a debt report via online public service to the budget-using unit.

Currently, the State Treasury is researching and offering solutions to overcome these problems so that the large-scale deployment will be carried out by the end of this year as planned by the State Treasury.

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