Interior Ministry Proposes End To Fees For Public Documents

Cambodian citizens may be able to get public documents like national identification cards for free through a new government initiative.

The Ministry of Interior have announced that fees on a range of government services, such as the issuing of birth certificates, marriage certification and national identity documents, are to be scrapped in an attempt to ease the financial burden on citizens, improve public services and make the processes more transparent.

Prok May Oudom, a spokesman for the Ministry’s general identification department, said yesterday that they had prepared a draft of the law to be submitted to the government this week for an official announcement. “We have already prepared this document. We just need to adjust some technical aspects. But we are willing to stop taking money for those services,” said May Oudom.

Living books, family books, marriage certificates and death certificates are also documents that will be affected by the new law.

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-Cambodia, said that following the abolishment of these fees, the Ministry may want to take action on some local officials who were previously taking extra money from the people, noting that it would have an effect on the government with commune elections looming.

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