The implementation of the national strategic plan on identification has stalled due to the current political situation and election tasks, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has said.
Speaking at the third National Committee for Registration and Identification meeting on Monday, Sar Kheng said: “The implementation of [the committee’s] procedures has been unexpectedly delayed. But the setback is not because of the negligence of experts. It is due to the social and political situation in our country, election tasks and the government’s various other priorities.”
He said the tasks that must be completed in the first stage are legislative drafting preparations and the development of telecommunications and information technology used in identification registration.
“The reform of the identification management system is a priority for the government in its sixth mandate because the system is the backbone of all public and private service provision systems,” he said.
On Monday, Sar Kheng posted on his official Facebook page that the implementation of the One Window Service to provide identification services at commune halls in Kep and Kampot provinces boosted the effectiveness of public services.
Based on a survey, most people expressed great satisfaction that services have been gathered in one place, he said.
“The Ministry of Interior usually prioritises addressing and pushing the identification-related tasks forwards based on the national strategic plan on identification, which the government has already adopted,” he said.
Say Meng Chheang, spokesman for the General Department of Identification at the Ministry of Interior, declined to comment on the statement.
Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the Minister of Interior should not relate the delay of the committee’s operations with the political situation or election tasks because the committee provides a different service.
“We need to separate core and urgent functions. We cannot say the delay in identification work is caused by election tasks. Authorities should strive to implement the plan in a timely fashion and not use the elections as an excuse. It is unreasonable,” Phea said.
He said the committee’s delays occurred because the officials responsible do not fulfill their tasks properly or attentively.