Samnang Chey* is not this type of government official. As a long-time Cambodian public servant in the Kampong Cham province, he was frustrated by working practices and made several attempts to change them.
In 2017, Samnang received intensive training on good governance and effective public service delivery from the School of Governance. The school is a joint initiative between Transparency International Cambodia and the Ministry of the Interior. Its goal is to establish and strengthen integrity in public service systems and promote good governance and transparency.
The school’s training programme gave Samnang and others like him the tools to reform the public service sector from within. He received training in basic research skills, good management practices and transparency measures. Samnang also learned how to share his knowledge, getting training to be an instructor to other public servants.
Samnang is now an important part of the programme that has trained 433 officials employed by the One Window Service Unit, which he manages. The unit helps citizens access a range of public services through one entry point. Its officials are now better equipped to provide services effectively and openly.
Samnang has launched a smartphone application that makes information easily accessible to the public. This includes information on fees, time needed to get services and relevant forms. He also uses social media to provide updates and a digital management system to ensure that service fees are not inflated.
People on both sides of the service office counters have noticed an improvement in efficiency and the quality of services provided. With help from the School of Governance, Samnang and hundreds more public servants are proactively providing citizens with the information they need to get the services to which they are entitled.
*Name has been changed.
This blog post is an extract from Transparency International’s publication, Real Lives, Real Stories: The Power Of Information In Asia Pacific. It contains stories of citizens from ten countries across the Asia Pacific region who have used their right to information to demand accountability from their governments. Read the other stories.
We would like to thank Transparency International Cambodia for writing and sharing this story.