The One Window Service Units (OWSU) across the country provided administrative services to more than 440,000 people in 2021, generating more than $21 million in revenue for state coffers.

Senior Ministry of Interior officials said the ministry will continue with reforms aimed at improving their efficiency in providing public services at the local level.

In the opening remarks of a conference held to review the working results of 2021 and outline its plans for 2022, ministry secretary-general Por Pheak said OWSUs across the country had provided 442,108 services in 14 sectors. The conference, held on February 22, also examined the results of a competition which implemented the “safe village-commune” policy.

He said the 204 OWSUs at the district level provided 750,869 administrative services in and received more than $3 million.

Pheak added that the Citizen Offices – or Ombudsman – for the capital and provincial administrations received 1,417 complaints, with 885 falling under their jurisdiction. Among them, 779 had been resolved while 33 required more information.

The 120 district level ombudsman offices dealt with 11,909 cases, 305 of which fell within their jurisdiction while 218 did not. More information was required in 11,386 cases.

He added that the ministry provided support for the election of the director and deputy directors of the ombudsman offices and had invested in their professional development. Their goal was to hear and resolve the complaints of all residents relating to the performance of administrative services at the sub-national level.

The ministry will continue to implement of the second phase of the National Programme for Democratic Practice at the Sub-National Level 2021-2030 and the safe village-commune policy, he said.

“We will continue to increase the efficiency with which we provide public services and will address any requests and suggestions the public may have. It’s important to ensure public participation and feedback in the government’s [service reform]programmes,” he said.

The ministry would continue to provide training to staff at all levels to guarantee a high standard of performance, he added.

Chhun Chhon, chairman of the Kampong Thom Provincial Council, said that the reforms had made public service provision transparent and accountable. It was convenient, accurate and highly effective.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun said earlier that the OWSUs were one-stop-shops for administrative services that suit the convenience of residents.

“If they are going to improve efficiency even further, it can only be a good thing. In my experience, people are really satisfied with the service provided by the units,” he said.

He said the OWSUs have played an important role in promoting good local governance and transparency. He urged officials to continue to strengthen them to avoid criticism or discrimination from residents.