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Public encouraged to use public services but avoid intermediaries

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Public works minister Sun Chanthol speaks during a presentation at the ministry last month. Public Works Ministry

Public encouraged to use public services but avoid intermediaries

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport urged the public to use services, such as driver’s licence renewal, that are provided directly by units under its jurisdiction rather than relying on brokers in order to reduce costs.

While leading journalists on a visit to the ministry and the Techo Sen institute of Public Works and Transport late last month, minister Sun Chanthol also reminded his officials to provide services to the people more efficiently and avoid misbehaving themselves or overcharging.

He said citizens can call the ministry’s hotline to report abnormal cases immediately.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, welcomed the move. But for more effective implementation, he said the ministry must eliminate the presence of brokers at the service counters and instead deploy professional staff to provide information and assist the public.

“We must have information officers on standby to assist citizens in preparing related documents. If for example people go to a service counter and there is no one there to give them details when they need help filling in information, they will turn to others nearby.

“And if there are brokers nearby, they will be tempted to seek their help. So, [the ministry] must eliminate services provided by brokers and replace them with its professionals.

“Some people do not fill in documents frequently, so they might be afraid of being blamed by officials for making mistakes while filling in the forms and therefore rely on brokers by paying them $10 or $20 to get it done,” he said.

The ministry’s headquarters and Techo Sen Institute of Public Works and Transport also boasts a modern public service centre providing services ranging from vehicle registration, vehicle inspection, provision of driver’s licence, waterway, maritime and port transport licence and domestic transport business licence, among others.

Chanthol considers providing fast and transparent services to the people as the ministry’s main goal in accordance with the recommendation of Prime Minister Hun Sen to restore public trust in the government.

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