Cambodia’s New Online Work Permit System Slammed

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The new online work-permit application and issuance system has drawn harsh criticism from users.

The Ministry of Labour’s new online work-permit application and issuance system, which was established in September through a public-private partnership with E-Solutions (Cambodia) Co Ltd, has drawn some fierce criticism from local firms for its apparent increase in costs, delays and bureaucracy.

Cambodian Investment Management CEO Anthony Galliano described the ministry’s new portal, dubbed the Foreign Workers Centralised Management System (FWCMS), as “the worst” online registration system the government has produced to date.

“In my experience the FWCMS is proving to be the most complex [online system], and I expect that only a small percentage of foreign workers have made it through all the steps required to date,” he told the Phnom Penh Post, adding that the application process was “a monumental task that requires extraordinary perseverance, patience and investment of time”.

“The documentation required alone is astonishingly overwhelming, and even if you have the documents required, they better be in the [correct] form and have the certifications required in order to be accepted,” noted Galliano.

Managing director of recruitment firm HRINC Cambodia Sandra D’Amico, meanwhile, said their general feedback was that “everyone has limited experience in using the system, and generally most companies leave quotas until the last moment, which definitely can create challenges for the system”.

E-Solutions – which was incorporated in December 2015 but has no website, public web presence, or track record in managing online systems – had to go through a “consultation process” to get the government contract, according to E-Solutions general manager Yours Vuthy, who said the portal was supported by IT professionals from Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore.

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