“Transition starts with GAD”: Securing Rule of Law, Community Peace and Tranquility, Regional Development, Serving the Public Interest

Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government U Min Thu. 
Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government U Min Thu.

By Tahya, Photo: Shwe Ko Lay

Performing the functions as per the motto “transition starts with GAD”, General Administration Department (GAD) aims to provide the people a simple and trouble free administrative and service system that is legal, just, uniform and reduces time and eases the burden.
The General Administration Department under the Ministry of Office of the Union Government provide vital administrative machinery for the country by conducting transition works in an exemplary way for a society free from corruption, self-interest and with good moral character.

Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, U Min Thu, greets staff of Mon State General Administration Department in Mawlamyine.  
Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, U Min Thu, greets staff of Mon State General Administration Department in Mawlamyine.

OSS for people
Mandalay Region Chanayethazan Township OSS won the consolation prize in 2017 Nationwide One Stop Shop (OSS) Implementation Award and joint third prize in 2018. In the awards presented by Mandalay Region it won third prize in 2017 and first prize in 2018.
Mandalay Region Chanayethazan Township OSS was opened on 7 July 2015 and as of 18 March 2019 it had accomplished in providing 64,716 public services.
As OSSs fulfil required public services in the best possible ways, it was recognized and relied upon by the people. For the 2018 Nationwide One Stop Shop (OSS) Implementation Award Rakhine State Sittway Township won the first prize, Yangon Region Hmawbi Township won the second prize, Chin State Haka Township and Mandalay Region Chanayethazan Township won the third prize jointly.
OSSs provides basic requirements for the people such as testimonial certificates of residency, having good character (free of criminal record), being of good health; entry and exit from household member list; adding in household member list birth of new household member and deleting from household member list of death; application for holding events and ceremonies; selling of stamps valued below Ks 1,000; labour registration (issuing of labour card); and driver license application for motorcycle and vehicles for 16 and 18 years old.
As per the motto “OSS for the people” and depending upon local and regional situation 316 OSSs were opened in townships to fulfil the services for the basic requirements of the people by providing convenient and efficient services free of corruption and bias; develop people’s trust and reliance on government and departments; and support check and balance and mutual support among public servants as well as departments.
OSS Implementation Work Committees and sub-committees were formed to ensure that OSSs established in States, Regions and Nay Pyi Taw are providing relevant departmental services systematically and are fulfilling the satisfaction of the people. Committee to draft Public Service Bill was formed and at the moment it was working toward the aim of establishing a standard operating procedure.
At the moment GAD was informing the people of services it was providing with OSS through advertisements and pamphlets while regional governments provided close supervision and support.

Transition starts with GAD
GAD is also implementing the four aims and duties of enforcing rule of law, community peace and tranquillity, promoting regional development and serving the public interest. It was formerly a department under Ministry of Home Affairs and was transferred to Ministry of Office of the Union Government on 28 December 2018 under office order 1/2018.
GAD (Head Office) was formed with seven departments consisting of administrative department, general department, land department, excise and tax department, training and research department, finance and account department and international department. An Institute of Administration Development was formed and GAD was working under 19 laws and 10 by-laws.
The aim of GAD is to administer government machinery to run systematically for social development. GAD is conducting its main works of land management, excise management, collection of four types of tax, rural development work, systematic organization of towns and rural land, forming of organizations and associations in line with to law and awarding of honours and awards. In addition to this, it also perform works assigned by Ministry of President Office, Ministry of Office of the Union Government and other ministries according to the department’s aims, said GAD Director General U Myint Than.
During the third year period of the government the first three month of 2019 was designated as a transition period of administrative form. At the same time in order to increase the momentum of transition a workshop on GAD reform was conducted from 26 to 28 February 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw. A total of 118 Nay Pyi Taw Council, State/Region administrators and district administrators attended the workshop.
Reforms of laws, rules, notifications and announcements related to GAD, works ought to be done for transition, works to conduct effective services down to ward and village level were discussed at the workshop. The outcome of the workshop discussions was the establishment of “people centred good administrative machinery” as a future aim of the department that was in line with the present situation and appropriate to the reform work.
Future aims, goals and values of GAD was established at the workshop to implement the motto “transition starts with GAD”, added Director General U Myint Than.
Similarly four duties and aims for GAD personnel to stress enforcing of rule of law and community peace and tranquillity, implementation of government policies, establishment of a good administrative system and conducting people centred regional development works and six values and norms of being capable and effective, transparent, responsible, having the trust of the people, equality and inclusiveness and in accord with procedures were designated.
Three GAD reform work processes consisting of sector wise and priority wise policy reforms, work process and administrative reforms and regional development and establishment of good work system was also established.

Human resources
Since the beginning of employment as GAD personnel continuous training and management was conducted to raise capacity and to be free from corruption. Human resources development was conducted by giving equal opportunity to departmental personnel as well as to outside personnel in equal ratio.
Duties, responsibilities and works of the department can be fulfilled and performed not only by giving priority to the personnel within the department but also through recruiting new blood and personnel from the outside, said Deputy Director General Daw Swe Swe Naing.

During fiscal year 2018-2019, 25 staff officers and administrative positions were recruited through Union Civil Service Board while 394 personnel were systematically promoted internally. Recruitment for vacant positions was made in an equal ratio from within and without the department and arrangements were made for recruitment of more than 190 personnel.
Institute of Administration Development held 8 courses on Admin-1 and Admin-2 on job training course, Training of Trainer course, capacity building course for township administrator and deputy township administrator and capacity building course for district administrator and director for 762 trainees in the third year of the incumbent government.
At the same time 714 personnel were sent to various courses conducted by Union Civil Service Board Central Institutes of Civil Service.
Starting from 2016 capacity building courses was conducted for GAD personnel working along the border areas of the country. Arrangements were made to hold a third course in May 2019.
Of the 330 townships all over Myanmar, there were 16,186 ward/village tract administrators and the majority were males. As more female ward/village tract administrators were elected and enter the service a third capacity building course and workshop for female ward/village tract administrators was held in cooperation with UNDP in December 2018.
At the workshop the subjects such as role of women in regional and public administration; the role of ward/village tract administrators in people centred development; women’s participation and role in Hluttaw; consideration of gender and gender affairs; women, peace and security; drawing up development projects with people’s participation; women and leadership etc. were lectured by officials. It was a beneficial workshop as 104 women ward/village tract administrators attends it.
During the third year period of the government one district, 11 towns, 63 wards, 20 village tracts and 55 villages were expanded and reorganized while six village tracts and 214 villages were abolished, according to 2008 Constitution section 54.

Systematic registration of associations and organizations
During the one year period a total of 239 consisting of 211 local associations and 28 international non-government organizations were registered under the Association Registration Law 2014.
Registration of associations and organizations benefit the country’s development and the people. The associations and organizations can obtain assistant and support in accordance to the law from relevant ministries and the registered associations and organizations also provide an additional benefit of strengthening the civil society organizations, said director U Aung Thaik Win.
The main works of GAD include presenting honorary awards and titles to worthy persons. On 4 January 2019 GAD presented honorary awards and titles to persons who had worked outstandingly toward establishing a peaceful and developed country, who selflessly worked toward protecting “Our three main causes,” works in an outstanding manner in civil and military sector for the country, innovative to a world level in science, arts and literature, foreign leaders and diplomats who had cooperated and worked with the country.
A total of 102,168 medals including Myanmar’s first Excellence Performance in Science as well as one Gallantry Medal, 1,489 Military Thingaha Medals, 2,599 Good Military Service Medals, 2 Ye Thurein Medals, 5 Ye Kyaw Zwa Medals, 214 Good Police Service Medals, 779 State Police Service Medals, 11,169 Public Good Service Medals, 25,263 Public Service Medals 60,646 Rule of Law and Order Medals were awarded.
During the third year period, as of fiscal year 2018-2019 end February, K 284.50 million was allocated for implementing 98 rural development works consisting of 4 agriculture works, 78 bridge works, 13 water utility management works and 3 regional development works.

Land management works
For socio economic development land grant (land lease agreements) issuing works for villages where there were no land problems was implemented starting from the 100 days project. A total of 23,017 land grants were granted to 275 villages in 275 townships.
This was continued in the third year period and a total 500 land grants were granted in villages where there were no land problems. In addition to this a total of 15,810 land grants in states and regions including 6 land confiscations, 160 land transfers, 42 pasture lands, 127 religious land grant, 53 Buddhist consecration lands, 123 land grants for 5 acres and above lands and 15,299 land grants for lands less than 5 acres were granted.
Central Committee for Scrutinizing Confiscated Farmlands and Other Lands had released 197,873.7141 acres of unused lands and 186,710.117 acres was returned to 6,118 former owners.
Issuing of land grants gave benefits such as moral and physical security to the person working on the land, more tax revenue for the state as well to live and conduct businesses with peace of mind. The State receives more tax revenue while the citizens had firm evidence of ownership allowing the opportunity of living and conducting of businesses, said director U Soe Thein.

Union Minister U Min Thu delivers the opening speech at the workshop on reforming General Administration Department in Nay Pyi Taw.
Union Minister U Min Thu delivers the opening speech at the workshop on reforming General Administration Department in Nay Pyi Taw.

Excise and tax management
GAD collects excise tax, land tax, embankment tax and mineral tax. In the past license fees were set at one rate country wide by notification of the Ministry of Union Government Office but in the present as per 2008 Constitution, the excise tax rate was being set by State and Region Hluttaws and collected by GAD at an appropriate rate for the specific State and Region after the enactment of Excise Tax Law and put into the State/Region fund, said Excise and Taxation Department director U Khin Maung Lwin.
Land and embankment taxes were collected by GAD at a rate set by Land Records Department and put into the respective State/Region fund.
On mineral tax gravel and pebble for road construction, pebble and sand for construction works and other minerals that were not of industrial raw mineral grade or gem grade were collected country wise by GAD at a rate set by Ministry of Union Government Office notification and put into the respective state/region fund.
During the six months fiscal year of 2018 April to September, K 18,101.646 million was earmarked for collection through the four types of tax and K 20,396.741 million was collected. So the tax collection rate achieved 112.68 per cent.
In excise tax management GAD collects full tax amount from liquor, beer, and wine production, storage, transport, distribution and sales. Task Forces were formed at township/district, State/Region and central levels to prevent illegal liquor and tobacco works as well as increasing collection of excise tax, said director U Khin Maung Lwin.
During 2018 actions were taken against 5,202 persons who had conducted illegal liquor and tobacco works and 5,184 cases were opened. 754 cases were opened and action taken against 575 persons for violation of excise license rules.
Environmental Management Plans (EMPs) were drawn up and followed through to prevent environmental damages via discharge of refuse from liquor distilleries. Action Plans were drawn up to implement Waste Water Treatment System and Real Time Waste Water Online Monitoring System.
A liquor distillery was permitted to test produce at 50 per cent capacity only after a complete and systematic Action Plan was submitted. A one year time frame was given to conduct monthly field inspection, timely monitoring of waste water discharge and production through installation of flow meter and during 2018 a total of 21 liquor distilleries had installed Waste Water Treatment System to prevent environmental damages.
During the third year period GAD was able to conduct land management, excise management, systematic organization of towns and villages, registration of associations and organizations to increase implementation of people centred beneficiary works according to set laws, rules, procedures and notifications. It was emphasizing toward assessing and reporting complaints made by the people and to provide services to the people without delay.

Translated by Handytips

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