Following an announcement by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday that sub-national administrations will soon be streamlined, a government spokesman told The Post that the measure will improve efficiency and effectiveness in governance at a local level.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Sunday that the measures will reduce complications and avoid having many officials in one place.

“Firstly, our goal is to move the service closer to the people. Secondly, we wish to prevent complications caused by bureaucracy. Thirdly, we want to prevent overlapping authority,” he stressed.

On Friday, the prime minister declared to approximately 12,000 workers from 12 factories at a meeting held at Pou Chen (Cambodia) Co Ltd in Kampot province’s Kampong Trach district that the government would soon be taking streamlining measures.

“Some state entities that are not necessarily needed are to be deleted from the list, and in the future, some offices at a district level will be removed, except for those such as the army, police, health, education and the department of land management.

“Some offices including the offices of agriculture, water resources, and rural development at district level will be gathered in one place to serve the people better,” he said.

Hun Sen said the measures aim to reduce the number of unnecessary staff in the departments and ensure efficiency.

“The offices of health, education and land management must be kept because they are important, particularly the land management office because many land disputes happen."

“The offices will be merged into one cluster in order to turn them into a united administration body. [This is] to avoid complications when there are two people in one office, which is not useful,” he said.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said his ministry does not have many district offices and so the impact will be minimal.

“Normally the elimination of district offices might affect some officials, but we do not have officials in all districts . . . only for the larger ones."

“In smaller districts, we have contracted officials, so we can easily recall them,” he said.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said many district offices in rural areas did not have anything to do.

“They have no action plans because they follow the national authority,” he said.