Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has instructed ministries, departments as well as provincial, commune and district administrations to prepare a clear path to annual meetings that will improve the provision of services to the public in line with the government programmes and policies.

Sar Kheng made the remarks on March 22 at a meeting to review the Prey Veng Provincial Administration’s work results of 2021 and its work direction for 2022.

He said pathways must be prepared according to the principles of laws and legal standards, and they must work hard to lead meetings that will solve problems that arise in their localities. Proceedings must be transparent and conducted in an orderly manner, he added.

He recalled that he had discussed this in Battambang province recently and had urged them to set an index of proceedings at the commune, district and provincial levels throughout the year in order to meet deadlines.

“We prepared a schedule of meetings based on the programme of the government. It does not need to be for the whole year – we prepared on quarter in advance. We determined that in a year we will meet 12 times. We will meet once a month or perhaps twice, which would mean there would be 24 meetings in a year, for example,” he said.

He instructed them to put programmes in place immediately, as would departments and ministries. He said that they should not let things run their course. Civil servants should chase work that needs doing, not wait for issues to come to them.

Sometimes work will find them, as Covid-19 finds people. When natural disasters occur, they should tackle these challenges as quickly as possible, for example. But generally, leaders must initiate the course of action, whether it is digging canals or building roads, etc.

“We have to provide guidance, that’s called leadership. A leader should lead and not let their teams assign their own importance to tasks. We should decide upon a goal, and then consult with our staff as to how we will achieve it. Do not think that things will improve on their own. We receive salaries from the people, so must serve them to the best of our abilities,” he said.

“I want to emphasise that the best way of achieving positive results is to connect with the public. We must be aware of the joys and the suffering of the people. In the morning, we must assess what the public is feeling, and at night before going to sleep, we must consider how we are going to the respond to their concerns,” he added.

Sar Kheng said wherever there are drugs, theft, disease, a storm or hungry people, civil servants should be there to connect with the public. This is one of the best ways we can demonstrate our commitment to serving them.

“I would like to encourage you all to continue to serve the people – our vision is to think that the people are our masters and we are their servants,” he said.

Prey Veng governor Chea Somethy said at the meeting that despite facing some challenges, the provincial administration had continued to actively build grass roots development in all sectors, including maintaining security and public order, improving environmental sanitation, providing public services and taking part in humanitarian activities, especially the fight against Covid-19.

He added that the administration noticed the integration of town and district administrations throughout the province had increased their energy. They had been able to mobilise leadership in all areas of their territory with greater quality, efficiency and responsiveness.

“As a sub-national administrative unit, we must enhance support for the town, district and commune administrations so that the performance of their duties and responsibilities contributes to improved development,” he said.

Somethy said that provision of services to the public at the One Window Service Offices went smoothly, and there were no serious obstacles. The challenges lay in providing equally satisfying results to the public in all facets of the administrations work.