A mobile app that allows citizens to submit evidence of violations to authorities has been put to use with fruitful results in Binh Thanh District in Ho Chi Minh City.
After a two month pilot run, almost all reports submitted via the app had been confirmed to be authentic and were subsequently handled by Binh Thanh authorities, according to Duong Hong Thang, deputy chairman of Binh Thanh District.
The mobile app, ‘Binh Thanh Truc Tuyen’ (Binh Thanh Online), was developed by the administration of Binh Thanh District as a platform for citizens to conveniently connect with local authorities.
Available for free download on both Android and iOS devices, the app allows users to report legal violations in Binh Thanh District, such as garbage and wastewater dumping, occupancy of sidewalks, and illegal construction projects.
According to Thang, since its introduction more than two months ago, the app has been downloaded over 2,000 times and over 1,100 reports have been submitted, most of which were related to illegal sidewalk occupancy.
Nguyen Tien Phuoc, deputy chairman of Binh Thanh’s Ward 9, said the ward had assigned four officials to monitor the platform for new reports.
Thanks to the app’s photo-submission feature, undeniable evidence is captured and accompanies the violation report, making it much easier to fine wrongdoers who might attempt to hide their transgressions before authorities arrive at the scene, said Phuoc.
In the near future, the district plans to connect the local police force to the app, which currently only sends all reports directly to the district People’s Committee where they are processed and forwarded to relevant authorities.
“We are working on a way to reward constructive tattletales and encourage more citizens to take part in monitoring urban order,” Thang said.
A motorbike repair shop on Phan Dang Luu Street in Binh Thanh District has been fined for encroaching the pavement thanks to reports sent to local authorities via the ‘Binh Thanh Truc Tuyen’ mobile app. Photo: Tuoi Tre
According to the deputy chairman, all reports are received and processed within 120 minutes of their submission, and images of sanctioning decisions, if any, are also uploaded to the app so citizens can see that the violation had been handled.
District leaders also have access to an internal app that can monitor their subordinates’ handling of reports, Thang said.
Apart from sending reports, app users can also look up land planning information by simply entering the coordinates of the piece of land, he added.
Following Binh Thanh’s footsteps, District 12 in Ho Chi Minh City is developing its own ‘HCMCOne’ app where feedback from citizens and businesses can be submitted on matters such as public order, transport infrastructure, food safety, and other public services.
The reports are sent directly to the district’s chairman and deputies, directs relevant authorities to tackle each report.
The app is slated to be fully launched later this June.