The Ministry of Interior has launched a study on land service provision via the one-window service at select locations in the Kingdom. The move is to enhance people’s access to government services.

The ministry’s director-general Prak Samoeun said it decided to conduct the study in the capital and in Kandal, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap provinces.

An inter-ministerial working group on Thursday met with Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng to discuss the study’s execution in the capital, said Samoeun.

Plans to discuss the project with the three provincial governors to assess its viability in their localities are also underway.

“We decided to study the process to provide land services at the sub-national level. It is a reform that aims to enhance access and quality of government services for the people.

“Currently, the procedures involved in providing land services are difficult and complicated, thus drawing public dissatisfaction,” he said.

Samoeun said as per the new plan, the transfer of land ownership and land registration will be two separate processes.

Regarding the assessment, Samoeun said the land sector in the capital and the three provinces have shown remarkable progress. If it continues, the same practices will be applied to other provinces.

Local media Fresh News last week quoted Sreng expressing his support for the reform because it helped ease the difficulties between the service provider and recipient.

Sreng also noted that citizens had previously supported the service in the capital, though the government had encountered some problems due to the incomplete submission of documents.

People were said to have applied for land service without sufficient evidence to support their cases, such as the lack of documents proving property ownership, lack of thumbprints and submission of questionable papers.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey supported the move, saying that a series of previous government initiatives lacked the comprehensive assessment of relevant parties.

To strengthen the initiative, he said it would have to be assessed by experts and civil society organisations as well.

“This initiative is not bad. But for it to be great, it needs to be discussed with experts in the field as well. The principle of public service is to meet the people’s needs, not to satisfy the whims of those in power,” said Chey.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey could not be reached for comment on Sunday.