Sustainable public procurement assessment in Vietnam: A reference to the timber industry
IISD performed an SPP-preparedness assessment in Vietnam, including a plan to introduce and implement SPP, especially with regards to the timber industry.
The report includes an overview of the structuring of public procurement in Vietnam, the opportunities and hurdles for SPP and a review of the timber industry and the extent to which it could serve as an entry point to introduce SPP. Vietnam has given sustainable development a high profile on the political agenda, and legislative initiatives with regards to environmental protection and sustainable development are well under way.
In addition, SPP initiatives have already been introduced by government agencies. However, there is a need for further guidelines and instruction to implement the relevant laws, which often remain unenforced. In general, communication between government and private sector needs to be enhanced to allow for better preparation and introduction of SPP. On the government side, international donors could assist in the training of procurers and implementation of SPP policies. The introduction and implementation of SPP are aligned with the enforcement of existing laws, especially those relating to environmental protection such as the Law on Energy Saving, the Law on Environment Protection and the National Target Program for Energy Saving and Efficiency.
With this framework, environment protection is already built into procurement decisions. In particular, there is a legal requirement to conduct strategic environmental assessments (SEAs) and environmental impact assessments (EIAs). Vietnam also has an organizational structure that may prove useful in training procurers. The government agency for procurement management already serves as the hub for training courses for procurers, at which the training curriculum could be improved to include SPP content. However, a lack of coordination and collaboration between different ministries hampers the incorporation of environmental protection in procurement. There are also insufficient guidelines for SEAs and EIAs, and for assisting the identification of sustainable alternatives.