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Promoting Good Local Governance, Social Accountability and Effective Delivery of Basic Social Services in Rural Cambodia
A Training Handbook
A publication of the Commune Council Support Project Phnom Penh, June 2007
The Citizens' Rating Report project is administrated by the Commune Council Support Project under the support of CAFOD. Additional copies of or further information on this handbook can be obtained from the Commune Council Support Project: 1st floor, VBNK No. 28, Street 80/75 Sangkat Srass Chak, Khan Daun Penh PO Box 50, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel/fax: +855 23 427 197 Email: [email protected] Website: www.ccspcambodia.org Mr. Murari Upadhyay Executive Director Commune Council Support Project [email protected] Mr. Phan Sothea National Consultant [email protected] CCSP is co-managed by Church World Service, DPA, COMFREL, Concern WorldWide, Oxfam GB, NGO Forum, SEDOC, World Vision Cambodia and PACT Cambodia. June 2007 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Citizens' Rating Report
Abbreviations and Other TermsBATF BDA BESCOM BMP BMTC BSNL BWSSB CAR CBO CC CCSP CDP CDRI CIP CRR CRT CSO D&D Deika DoLA GAP ICT LAMC LDC MDG MEF MOU NCDD NCSC NGO NPAR NPRS NSDP PAC PIP PLAU PMG PPA Prakas RGC SMEs ToT UNDP USAID Bangalore Agenda Task Force Bangalore Development Authority Bangalore Electricity Company Bangalore Municipal Corporation Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation Bangalore Telecom Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board Council for Administrative Reform Community-based organization Commune council Commune Council Support Project Commune Development Plan Cambodia Development and Research Institute Commune investment program Citizens' Rating Report Commune research team Civil society organization Decentralization and deconcentration Resolution/ordinance Department of Local Administration Governance Action Plan Information and communication technology Law on Administration and Management of Commune/Sangkat Local Development Council Millennium Development Goal Ministry of Economy and Finance Memorandum of Understanding National Committee for the Management of D&D National Committee to Support Commune/Sangkat Non-governmental organization National Program for Administrative Reform National Poverty Reduction Strategy National Strategic Development Plan Public Affairs Centre Performance improvement plan Provincial Local Administration Unit Priority mission group Participatory poverty assessment Regulation issued by minister Royal Government of Cambodia Small and medium-scale enterprises Training of trainers UN Development Program US Agency for International Development
Citizens' Rating Report
ForewordIn keeping with its mission of strengthening civil society capacity to influence and participate in the decentralization and local governance reform process, the Commune Council Support Project (CCSP) in 2004 pioneered the implementation of the Citizens' Rating Report (CRR) to bring people closer to governance through their direct participation in monitoring of services at commune level, and thus provide direct inputs from citizens into decision making in commune councils and other sub-national entities. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) adopted in 2005 the Strategic Framework for Decentralization and Deconcentration Reforms. This offered a new opportunity for greater civil society participation in local governance processes. Its basic principles call for the promotion of peoples oversight mechanisms to promote local government transparency and overall social accountability. This new opportunity reaffirmed the relevancy and significance of continuing the CRR exercise. Despite noticeably positive results in past implementation, the CRR required independent evaluation in order to assess the appropriateness of project methodology and outcomes. Likewise, it was important that a well defined curriculum and training design be developed to facilitate its better replication. Therefore, CCSP in February 2007 contracted Mr. Phan Sothea, an independent consultant, to carry out an evaluation of the CRR, to refine the CRR methodology using recommendations from the evaluation study, and to develop a CRR training manual (handbook) for wider replication by NGOs and other civil society actors. I would like to thank Mr. Phan Sothea for his successful completion of the CRR training handbook and to express my sincere gratitude to CAFOD of the United Kingdom for its invaluable resource support for this important work. Numerous people, including commune chiefs, commune councillors, members of CRR-implementing NGO partners, members of commune research teams, representatives of various organizations in Phnom Penh, and commune citizens, contributed greatly in terms of enriching the content of this CRR training handbook, by freely and frankly sharing their opinions and perceptions. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and thanks to all of these. Last, but not least, I would like to thank CCSP staff members Mr. Youk Senglong, Mrs. Yin Sundarinet and Miss Chak Solyneth for their diligent program and logistics support in successfully completing the CRR handbook project. Murari Upadhyay Executive Director Phnom Penh, June 2007
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Table of ContentsAbbreviations and Other Terms..........................................................................i Foreword ..............................................................................................................ii Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1 Module 1: Understanding decentralization and commune councils ............. 6 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Current status of decentralization in Cambodia ........................................ 6 The meaning of decentralization................................................................ 8 Objectives of decentralization and commune administration and management..................................................................................... 12 Powers, roles and functions of commune/sangkat councils..................... 13 Structure of the commune/sangkat council.............................................. 14 Roles and responsibilities of major actors in commune development ............................................................................................ 16 Support network for commune/sangkat .................................................. 18 Important tasks of councils ...................................................................... 20
Module 2: Legal frameworks for public service delivery in Cambodia........ 27 2.1 2.2 2.3 Government perspective on public service delivery................................. 27 Government policy on public service delivery.......................................... 29 Key challenges in public service delivery at local level ............................ 40
Module 3: What is the Citizens' Rating Report? ............................................ 41 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Introduction.............................................................................................. 41 Legal provisions for social accountability and basic service delivery at commune level ....................................................................... 43 The Citizens' Rating Report ..................................................................... 44 Concept and strategy of the CRR............................................................ 45 Objective, outputs and methodologies..................................................... 47
Module 4: Implementation of the CRR............................................................ 52 4.1 4.2 The CRR process .................................................................................... 52 How is each activity carried out? ............................................................. 53Activity 1 Activity 2 Conduct rapid assessment of communes on suitability for CRR........................................................................ 54 Identification and selection of target communes ......................... 54
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Activity 3 Activity 4 Activity 5 Activity 6 Activity 7 Activity 8 Activity 9 Activity 10 Activity 11 Activity 12 Activity 13 Activity 14 Activity 15 Activity 16 Activity 17
Negotiation and lobbying for endorsement and launch ............... 55 Identification, selection and validation of basic services ............. 57 Design of questionnaires............................................................. 57 Selection of local implementing organization .............................. 59 Organizing the commune research team (CRT).......................... 59 Preparing official MOU and contracts ......................................... 60 Conduct ToT on concept and methodology ................................ 61 Promotion of the CRR in the commune and in public.................. 61 Prepare action plan for field rating survey ................................... 62 Sampling of respondents............................................................. 62 Conducting training, coaching and orientation ............................ 63 Conducting the field survey ......................................................... 65 Validation, analysis and production of report .............................. 65 Monitoring and continued technical assistance........................... 66 Meeting with CCs and service providers ..................................... 66 Advocacy..................................................................................... 67 Institutionalizing and strengthening local networks and maintaining sustainability ..................................................... 69 Evaluation activities..................................................................... 70 Dissemination and replication ..................................................... 70
Activity 18 Activity 19Activity 20 Activity 21
Some advice for success......................................................................... 71
Module 5: Readings in social accountability ................................................ 73 Reading 1: Concept of social accountability ....................................................... 74 Reading 2: What is social accountability? Reading 3: Building blocks of social accountability ........................................... 75 Reading 4: Dimensions of social accountability.................................................. 77 Reading 5: Social Accountability: critical factors of success .............................. 78 Reading 6: Tools for promoting accountability 80 Reading 7: Experiences from various countries 82 Reading 8: Case study: Bangalore, India; citizen report card 84 Reading 9: the context of social accountability in Cambodia 92
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Objectives of the moduleTo provide participants with a basic knowledge on decentralization and CCs so that they can see the whole picture regarding the responsibilities of CCs.
Expectations of the moduleIt is expected that by the end of this session participants will have a basic understanding of: The meaning of decentralization and the objectives set for decentralization and commune/sangkat management and administration; The powers, roles and functions of commune/sangkat councils; The structure of commune/sangkat councils and the roles and responsibilities of major stakeholders in commune/sangkat development; Issues related to the administration and management of commune/sangkat councils; The financial management and planning system of commune/sangkat councils; How to ensure citizen participation in the development process.
1.1Current status of decentralization in CambodiaDecentralization is a new policy for governance in Cambodia. Putting it into practice is a challenging task!
The National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) 2006-2010 outlines the RGCs development priorities and its Rectangular Strategy to reduce poverty and attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Good governance is central to the Rectangular Strategy, and D&D (decentralization and deconcentration) is considered key to improving sub-national governance
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and development. These, in turn, are expected to enhance the wellbeing of Cambodian citizens, particularly the poor.The NSDP explicitly states eight specific Key Actions for D&D. These include: 1 Draft organic laws to guide the devolution process. 2 Delegate line ministry responsibilities, development and operational funds to subnational levels in accordance with laws and regulations. 3 Define a framework for deconcentration of existing initiatives of line ministries, including education, health, agriculture and rural development, land management, urban planning and construction. 4 Institutionalize the allocation mechanism for transfer of block grants and sector grants to sub-national levels. 5 Increase and better target funds to remote areas and other regions with high poverty levels. 6 Explore how sub-national levels can develop their own sources of revenue. 7 Steadily implement a commune decentralized accounting system. 8 Build institutional capacity at all sub-national levels.
The RGC has adopted the Strategic Framework for D&D (2005) and a preliminary Implementation Framework for Sub-national Democratic Development (2006). It has initiated the organic D&D law drafting process; established the National Committee for the Management of D&D (NCDD) 1 (2006); and started preparatory work for a national D&D reform program. The RGCs Council of Ministers adopted on 17 June 2005 a vision, basic concept and principles and overall strategy for D&D reform to give a framework to guide all other reforms related to management systems at provincial, district and commune levels. The vision that the RGC has set on D&D states that: The Royal Government will develop management systems of provincial, district, khan and commune levels based on the principle of 'Democratic Participation'". This system will operate with transparency and accountability in order to promote local development and delivery of public services to meet the needs of citizens and contribute to poverty reduction within respective territories. A five year national program is being introduced to implement D&D reforms with the aim of achieving the following three major outputs: policy and regulations, institutional arrangements and sectoral functions. The RGC intends to devolve more responsibilities to local level. Transfer of powers and resources is expected to be made in ways that create incentives for councils to improve service delivery, natural resource management and employment opportunities; increase accountability and social inclusiveness; and promote positive pro-poor, gender and environmental outcomes.Some important progress on D&D has been made: 1 The Strategic Framework for D&R reforms was approved by the Councils of Ministers on 17 June 2005. This defines the goal of D&D as "democratic development", and outlines objectives, priorities, phasing and arrangements to achieve this. 2 Drafting of an organic law for sub-national administration has begun. 3 A preliminary draft Implementation Framework for Sub-national Democratic Development (Preparatory Phase, 2006-2007) was released on 2 June 2006. 4 Joint government-donor commitments on harmonization and alignment have been made, including the Declaration by the RGC and Development Partners on Harmonization and Alignment (December 2004); the RGC Framework for1
NCDD is established by a Royal decree No. 0806/355 Kingdom of Cambodia
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Harmonization, Alignment and Results Management; the Action Plan for 2006-2010; and RGC endorsement of key recommendations of the Independent Study on Donor Support for Decentralization and Deconcentration on 24 May 2006. 5 A Royal Decree established the NCDD to take charge of D&D until a successor agency is created by the organic law. The NCDD is now responsible for drafting D&D laws and regulations, preparing a national D&D program, donor harmonization, and coordinating a wide range of donor-financed projects, including those that fall under the Seila Taskforce. 6 Preparatory work has begun for the national D&D program to support the development of organic laws and regulations and to establish and resource new sub-national political and administrative structures, systems and procedures.
The meaning of decentralizationDecentralization means that certain rights, responsibilities and resources are transferred from the national level of government to democratically elected commune/sangkat councils. i. Political decentralization Political decentralization is often referred to as transfer of power and functions from central to local government. Local government in Cambodia is based on political representation. Commune councilors are locally elected on a proportional basis, which means that more than one political party can be represented by local people who live within the area of territorial jurisdiction of the local government. Political decentralization also refers to devolution (Conyers, 1983) 2 . Stoop The devolution of power carried out through decentralization and deconcentration will shift the focus of development towards the people with the view to implementing structural adjustment, strengthening grassroots governance, reducing poverty and inequality and promoting gender equity at all levels: commune, district, provincial and national level. (2002) 3 has pointed out that devolution is a more advanced level of decentralization, whereby resources and political decision powers, and thus empowered decision making, are transferred to a separate lower tier of government. Devolution thus refers to decision making by a semi-autonomous government authority with its own juridical status and resources. More recently, United Nation Development Program (UNDP) has referred to political decentralization as democratic decentralization. Erickson et al. (1999) 4 see2 3
Diana Conyers 1983, IDS: decentralization: the last fashion in development administration? Patrick Stoop 2002: assessment of the recent decentralization policies of the Lao PDR gov't 4 Paul Erickson et al.1999: devolution and electoral politics
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devolution as a more real form of decentralization of power, which local people can use through elected representatives to solve local problems. In Cambodia there are two major laws covering political decentralization. The first is the Law on the Election of Commune Councils and the other is the LAMC. These laws provide citizens and those who are elected to represent them (commune councilors and village chiefs) more power in public decision making (Rondinelli, 1999) 5 . When defining decentralization, United State Agency for International Development (USAID) refers to political decentralization. Stated at the workshop on perspective for decentralization, in year 2000, Prum Sokha 6 has also referred to decentralization in Cambodia as political decentralization when he pointed out that: There is a grow[ing] understanding throughout Cambodia that people must take a greater part in decision[s] affecting their affairs. There is also a greater understanding that government and administration must be more sensitive and more responsive to its citizens. According to Ayres (2001) 7 , political decentralization is preferred by those who argue that participatory decision-making processes will be better informed and local government will be more responsive to local needs and circumstances. ii. Administrative decentralization Driven by political rational, decentralization reforms in Cambodia are still not guided by a clearly stated vision that makes explicit their broader objectives and how the RGC intends to approach devolution of administrative and service delivery responsibilities and related fiscal resources. On the administrative front, however, a major critical question is what could actually be the role of local councils in the provision of public services, Administrative decentralization occurs particularly in major sectors crucial for the with authority, responsibility and national poverty reduction strategy. financial resources for providing publicservices distributed among different tiers of government (Ayres, 2001). Administrative decentralization refers to the transfer of responsibilities for planning, financing and managing certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or areawide, regional or functional authorities. Administrative deconcentration means the delegation of state responsibilities to lower-level units within a unified or single government system or single juridical identity (Stoop, 2002).
In Cambodia, the public sector set-up is reflected at provincial and district levels through line offices such as health and education departments. At the moment, the province and district are not locally representative institutions, meaning that they are not elected by the people but are employed by sector ministries. In essence, deconcentration may allow locally placed government officials to make decisions on provisioning and production of public goods and services. They may also establish important links between local and national government.
iii. Fiscal decentralization Fiscal decentralization involves transfer of funds and tax-raising powers from5
Rondinelli 1999: democratic decentralization and local participation: a review of recent research 6 Prum Sokha: Secretary of State of Ministry of Interior, Cambodia 7 David Ayres 2001: literature review on decentralization
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higher to lower levels of a political system (Rusten et al. 2004) 8 . Ayres (2001 considers fiscal responsibility one of the most important components of decentralization. This is because local governments must have adequate revenue, which is locally raised or transferred from the central government, to make expenditure decisions. Presently, the transfer of funds to communes from central government is the only source of local government revenue. This funding is limited and not always distributed fairly. In order to provide incentives to CCs to generate revenues and control expenditures, the RGC must establish a law on "commune own source revenue" as soon as possible. The existing fiscal system and financial management are reportedly weak. The local government fiscal system needs to be reformed in order to make it consistent with overall reform policy, by improving the system of revenue mobilization and management and creating a solid, efficient, viable and sustainable system of financial management. It is also crucial to set up an appropriate mechanism to support accountability in planning and budgeting at the provincial and district levels. A study by El Mensi (2003) 9 on communes' own sources of revenue provides a good overview, analysis and policy options for further development of the local revenue system. Decentralized commune councils must have the capacity to exercise the powers and fulfill the responsibilities devolved to them. In the context of rural development in Cambodia, capacity means the ability to do the job and improve service delivery. Lack of capacity, according to Parker (1997) 10 , may be reflected in any of the following: Inadequate funding to meet minimum standard of service and provision; Inability to mobilize fully all available financial resources; Failure to deliver cost-effective goods and services; or Inappropriate mix of services in relation to local preferences.Fiscal decentralization takes many forms, summarized below (Rondinelli, 1999) 11 :
Self-financing or cost recovery through user charges; Expansion of local revenues through taxes and indirect charges; Intergovernmental transfers; Authorization of local borrowing.Some major identified challenges related to fiscal D&D include: The overall structure of sub-national governance contains very unequal and some small and financially non-viable communes; Unclear division of expenditure assignments across levels ( vertically and horizontally) and lack of realistic standards and guidelines for service provision; Lack of clear relationship between expenditure and revenue assignments, both in terms of size and type and composition of revenues; The intergovernmental fiscal transfer system needs to be reformed in light of the new structure and functions of each tier of government; The current fragmentation of the budget at the P/M level limits options for a consolidated overview of entire resources utilized at the provincial level and poses risks of double counting and lack of coordination and high fiduciary risks; Lack of regulatory and legal framework for revenue mobilization (user charges, taxes, co-funding/matching contribution for C/S fund etc); Inappropriate organization of financial management at the Provincial/Municipal level with numerous actors of profitoriented micro-finance schemes and banking, and many formalities of control procedures but weak coordination, control and clear lines of accountability to the users of micro-finance services; Lack of incentives to improve performance in the prevailing revenue mobilization and financial management procedures;8 9
Caroline Rusten et al. 2004: the challenges of the decentralization design in Cambodia El Mensi: a study on communes' own source revenue in Cambodia 10 Parker 1997: Promoting Good Local Governance through Social Funds and Decentralization
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According to the RGCs Rectangular Strategy for Growth, Employment, Equity and Efficiency, 2003-2008, the RGC will try its best to strengthen the collection of revenue by strict implementation of fiscal laws, enforcing anti-corruption and anti-tax evasion measures, eliminating unlawful tax exemptions, introducing appropriate management of state assets, and sustainable management and exploitation of nature resources. Official rules will govern all budget operations. This is exemplified in the area of health services, where official user fee schemes are designed with community participation. Currently, communes have already started assessing and collecting fees and levies associated with some of the (essentially administrative) services that they perform. However, this is largely regarded as illegal activity since there is not yet a clear legal framework to regulate this. At the same time, CCs are requested to mobilize local resources to meet required counterpart funding to transfer funds. This practice also needs to be further regulated. The design for fiscal D&D system is closely connected with current and future organizational refinement and improvement at sub-national level. This is especially true in the case of division of expenditure assignments and the extent to which functions are decentralized through devolution or deconcentration (delegated as agency functions for the lower tier of government). It should be noted that, based on experiences of pilot projects and initial activities, a fiscal decentralization strategy is being planned under the Fiscal Decentralization Support Program of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF). This was to be completed during 2005-2006. iv. Main features of decentralization in Cambodia Citizens are given the right to elect the members of commune/sangkat councils. Citizens are given the right and the responsibility to play an active role in communal life and local development processes. In total, there will be 1,621 communes/sangkats with elected councils covering Cambodia. The councils represent the citizens of their commune/sangkat. The councils will have a mandate of five years. Commune/sangkat councils are given a range of responsibilities and duties. These differ completely from those of the former communes/sangkats. The first and foremost task of the councils is to support the development of the commune/sangkat and the wellbeing of the citizens. In the performance of their duties, council members are fully responsible and accountable to their citizens. Commune/sangkat councils must ensure that local communities participate in a proper manner in the decision-making process. This is very important because councillors will make decisions that have an impact on the lives of their citizens. For example, they will make decisions on how they spend the resources that are available to them. In order to be able to carry out their duties, commune/sangkat councils will have their own financial resources and staff to support them. They will have a clerk appointed by the Ministry of Interior.
Rondinelli 1999: concept of fiscal decentralization a worldwide overview
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1.3Objectives of decentralization and commune administration and managementThe objectives of decentralization and commune/sangkat administration and management are: To give ordinary people a chance to take greater part in decisions affecting their life and to determine their future; To promote democracy, good governance and quality of life; To ensure sustainable development, including delivery of basic services.
Objectives of decentralization and commune/sangkat administration and management are wide ranging. Decentralization is to give citizens chance to take greater part in decisions affecting their life: Under the system of local governance at the commune/sangkat level all citizens have the right and responsibility to play an active role in communal life and local development processes. Everyone, including women and men, old and young, poor and rich, needs to be heard and involved. Citizens are entitled to make their needs and interests known and to participate through the established procedures and mechanisms. There are various ways and means for citizens to get involved. They can elect the councillors who they feel best represent their interests. They can contact councillors on issues relating to the development of the commune. Citizens can express their problems and interests in village meetings and workshops. They can monitor the implementation of projects in their area. Citizens have the right to demand and obtain information from the council office. Promotion of citizen participation is an important duty of CCs. It helps them to find out the needs and interests of their people and to develop programs that address these needs. If citizens are involved they will feel ownership and responsibility for the development of their area. Decentralization is seen as an effective way to promote good governance: There are four major elements that must be complied with to achieve good governance:
1. CCs and their members have to operate in accordance with the law.The law spells out their powers, roles and functions.
have to be democratically elected and mandated by the local population. Therefore, CCs are fully responsible and accountable to
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their citizens. This means that they have to plan in a way that meets the needs of the people; they have to provide information on how resources have been spent and whether this was really for the benefit of the population.
3. CCs have to be transparent in all that they do. This means that theyshould not hide anything from the public. They have to inform the public on issues or subjects they discuss or decisions they have take. For example, they have to inform the public and also seek their comments on development plans and budget. Minutes of meetings and resolutions adopted by CCs have to be posted on notice boards.
as explained above is another core element of good
Commune/sangkat administration and management is to support sustainable development, including the delivery of basic services. How can that be? CCs are close to the citizens of the area and therefore are in a good position to get to know what the needs of the people are. They can design programs that seek to improve living conditions. Therefore, resources can be spent more effectively. The local population can watch how resources are spent and whether they are really spent for the benefit of the people. If citizens are involved in the planning of projects in their area they will feel more responsible.
1.4Powers, roles and functions of commune/sangkat councilsLAMC Article 41: "A commune/sangkat administration shall have roles to uphold and support good governance by using all available resources to address the basic needs of its commune to serve the interests of citizens and respect the national interest in accordance with the general policy of the State."
The CC is a body of people democratically elected within each particular commune. The second election of CCs was held on 1 April 2007. 11,353 councillors were elected to 1,621 CCs. They are given powers, roles and functions. Commune/sangkat councils are given powers: CCs are given powers to govern and manage communes/sangkats. They have to serve the general interests of the commune/sangkat. CCs are given legislative powers. They can formulate and issue deikas (resolutions) within the framework of the roles and responsibilities given to them. These resolutions are only effective within the territory of the respective commune/sangkat. Resolutions must not be contradictory to the Constitution, laws, royal decrees, or international treaties and conventions, otherwise they will be null and void.
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CCs are given executive powers. They are given the power and authority to implement their decisions within the framework of the roles and responsibilities given to them. Commune/sangkat councils are given roles and functions: The foremost role and responsibility of a CC is to actively promote the development of the commune/sangkat and the wellbeing of its citizens. The CC has to make proper use of all resources available in serving the needs of the commune and its citizens. CCs have to serve local duties. Some of these are:
1. To manage necessary public services and to ensure that these serviceswork well, for example, local garbage and rubbish collection;
protect the environment and natural resources; this means, for example, supporting citizens to keep the rivers and the environment of the village or town safe and not exploited; CCs can facilitate good cooperation with CSOs; they can encourage businesspeople to settle in their area and carry out business;
3. To promote social and economic development; this means, for example, 4. To improve the living standards of the people; this means, for example,CCs need to plan for the implementation of what the people see as their priority needs; this may be safe drinking water, various educational or health services, etc.
promote tolerance and good understanding among citizens; this means, for example, CCs should help in settling disputes among citizens; non-violent manner. CCs cannot establish a police force or army.
6. To maintain security and public order; this task can only be done in aIn addition, CCs have duties which they carry out on behalf of the national government. These duties are called agency functions and include, for example, civic registration in the commune/sangkat. In case the CCs do something on behalf of the state, they will be supported by the state. For example, they will be given training, materials or finances to carry out the tasks. Limits of powers: CCs can only act within the framework of powers, roles and functions given to them. This means they can not act against the principles and orders laid out in the Constitution or other laws, sub-decrees, etc. For some issues, those of national interest, CCs have no power to act. Such issues are beyond the responsibility of CCs. A CC has no power in the following areas: forestry, postal and telecommunications services, national defence, national security, monetary affairs, foreign policy, and fiscal tax policy.
1.5Structure of commune/sangkat councilsAs per provisions of LAMC, each CC shall have a specific structure:
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Structure of the commune administrationCommune council Commune Chief Deputy Chief Advisory Committee Advisory Committee Commune residents
Deputy Chief Advisory Committee Advisory Committee Commune Cler
Article 28: A commune chiefCommune Planning and Budgeting Advisory Committee shall have the power to appoint various committees to provide advice and to assist affairs as it is necessary.
Depending on the size of the area and the number of residents, CCs have five, seven, nine or 11 council members. The actual number of councillors for each commune/sangkat is determined by a sub-decree. Each commune/sangkat has a commune/sangkat chief. The chief has to perform additional duties as seen below. Each CC has a chairperson, called the presiding councillor. The commune/sangkat chief performs the role of presiding councillor.The commune/sangkat chief has two deputies, a first deputy chief and a second deputy chief.
The CC selects a village chief in each village within its commune boundary. Women or men can be village chiefs. The village chief is the formal link between the village and the council. The commune/sangkat chief can also appoint advisory committees. A committee is a group of at least three people that provides advice and assistance to the CC on specific subject matters or issues. Members of the committee can be councillors, but also other citizens who are entitled to vote can be nominated. They can be of either sex. When councillors perform as members of a committee the commune/sangkat chief must ensure as far as possible that composition reflects the political composition of the council. Each commune/sangkat has a commune/sangkat clerk who is appointed and employed under the administrative framework of the Ministry of Interior. The commune/sangkat clerk is answerable and accountable to the CC. In the performance of his/her functions, the commune/sangkat clerk must be absolutely neutral and impartial and act equally towards all residents of the commune/sangkat, councillors and political groups of the CC and committees. This means also that the clerk has to treat all councillors equally, irrespective of which political party they belong to. A CC may also employ other staff not in the state framework. These are to assist in the affairs of the CC depending on the specific needs and the decisions of the council. Their employment may be extended following a decision of the council for the next mandate. Women and men can obtain all positions mentioned above.
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1.6Roles and responsibilities of major actors in commune developmentCommune/ sangkat council members Commune/ sangkat chief Ensure CC performs powers, roles and functions Participate in meetings of the CC Liaise with electorate Ensures that CC decisions are put into practice Reports monthly on work performance to CC Provides advice and assists CC in planning, finance and exercise of functions and powers by CCs Other duties as assigned by the CC Presides over the meetings of CC Ensures that CC meets at least once a month Ensures that the meeting is held in conformity with rules and regulations Acts as commune/sangkat chief in case of absence of the commune/sangkat chief Assists commune/sangkat chief in matters related to financial and economic affairs of the CC Other duties as assigned by commune/sangkat chief Acts as commune/sangkat chief in the case of absence of commune/sangkat chief and first commune/sangkat deputy chief Assists commune/sangkat chief in administration, social affairs, public services and public order Other duties as assigned by commune/sangkat chief.
First commune/ sangkat deputy chief
Second commune/ sangkat deputy chief
Provide advice and assist in the affairs of the CC in specific subject matter areas, e.g. planning, budgeting Reports monthly on progress Recommends actions to be undertaken concerning its respective subject matter Makes submissions or representations to CC on behalf of village Puts into practice tasks given by CC Ensures village social and economic development Ensures public order
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Commune/ sangkat clerk
The commune/sangkat clerk is a staff member within the administrative framework of the Ministry of Interior, but in performing his/her work the clerk is under the leadership of the CC. Assists the CC and representatives in exercising powers, roles and functions in accordance with law Performs administrative duties Ensures that CC decisions and implementation are in accordance with law Assists CC in preparation and implementation of CC and committee meetings Attends every meeting of the CC or committees unless there is prior permission from CC or commune/sangkat chief to be absent Advises the commune/sangkat chief on the requirements and procedures to be followed in selection of village chiefs Assists CC to establish one or more notice boards accessible to public at least during office hours Displays all notices that the CC requires or wishes to display, for example, CC decisions Informs the provincial/municipal governor immediately in case the CC decides to take disciplinary action against a councillor or to dismiss a councillor Informs the CC and the commune/sangkat chief immediately about the name and election date of a new councillor in case the National Election Committee has replaced a councillor
Elect the CC General public Participate in village and communal affairs through established procedures, for example in the development planning process Demand information, responsiveness and accountability from the CC Pay taxes, duties and fees as provisioned in law Get involved in the monitoring of implementation of development projects Mobilize local communities Local NGOs and Promote social and economic development of local self-help groups communities Advocate for interests of people they represent Liaise with the CC on important issues related to development of villages and commune/sangkat Build public awareness about decentralization and commune/sangkat management and administration Liaise with CC on issues related to the economic development of the commune/sangkat Promote economic development of commune/ sangkat Provide employment opportunities to citizens
Private sector, local entrepreneurs, etc.
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1.7Support network for commune/sangkatCommune/sangkat management and administration is a challenging task. There are, however, many institutions and organizations that are in support of CCs that help to make decentralization successful.
The NCDD has been established. Its composition, powers and functions have been defined by royal decree. The NCDD is responsible for policy direction and oversight of D&D reform and is comprised of the Minister for the Interior (chairman) and ministers of the Council of Ministers and the ministries of: Economy and Finance, Rural Development, Planning and Womens Affairs, as well as Secretary of State of the Secretariat of Public Works, and Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior. The NCDDs mission (Article 3) in summary includes: Assuming the functions of the NCSC and Inter-ministerial committee for drafting the organic law Preparing and implementing strategies for transition, integration and phasing out of Seila program at the end of 2006 Developing and implementing a national initial-phase program for democracy development at sub-national levels Developing and implementing an initial-phase framework, components, timeframe and temporary activities of D&D reforms until the organic law is promulgated Designing and making recommendations for establishment of a fund for D&D reform, and mobilizing and allocating donor assistance Preparing agreements between the RGC and donors on supporting D&D reform to promote harmonization and alignment of donor support Ensuring coordination among NCDD and central ministries/institutions in delegation of functions, powers and resources to sub-national level entities Organizing appropriate forums for RGC and donors to coordinate cooperation and mobilizing resources to support D&D reform Based on the mandate of two departments, the
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Department of General Administration and the Department of Local Administration were merged to form a General Department of Local Administration. This has been upgraded to serve as the Secretariat of the NCDD to function with full capacity. The Department of Local Administration (DoLA) is the focal point for all matters relating to decentralization and commune/sangkat administration and management within the Ministry of Interior. DoLA has responsibilities to monitor, evaluate and report on capacities and resources of CCs and appointed officials, such as the clerk. DoLA has to ensure that appropriate measures for training and capacity building, including public education, are implemented. National ministries assist in policy formulation for decentralization and commune/sangkat management and administration. There is broad-based commitment among donor organisations, national and international NGOs regarding support to the process of decentralization and commune/sangkat administration and management. These actors assist in many ways, for example in training and capacity building. Provincial/district level Provincial administration and technical departments: the Ministry of Interior has given the provincial governor the authority and responsibility to support CCs and to supervise their performance. S/he has to ensure that technical departments provide support and guidance to CCs. The Ministry of Interior will establish provincial and district offices of DoLA to support CCs. A range of development programs and NGOs have branches at provincial and district level. These are expected to give support through training or public education on issues related to CCs. Commune/sangkat level The commune/sangkat clerk is appointed by the Ministry of Interior to assist in the affairs of the commune/sangkat and to ensure sustainability in administrative affairs Local organisations (development programs, local NGOs, self-help groups) can support CCs in the mobilization of local communities.
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1.8Important tasks of councils
Meetings provide an opportunity:To get everyones idea about a subject To get support for an idea To brief on things that will happen or have happened To discuss and reflect on important issues To get advice from people who are knowledgeable To make a decision
A well organized meeting leads to well thought-out decisions and good communication among councillors, staff and others invited to participate. A meeting that actively involves and values the contributions of everyone present encourages a sense of ownership for the outcomes of the meeting. What sort of meetings do CCs have? Internal rules and regulations stipulate that CCs can have two types of meetings: regular meetings, which should be held at least once a month; and special meetings, held to discuss special issues that require special or urgent attention by CCs.
Remember! All important details for the preparation and conduct of CC meetings are described in the Internal Rules and Regulations for Meetings of the Commune/Sangkat Council and its Committees
The commune/sangkat clerk and other CC officials have the right to attend CC meetings. To discuss specific issues, it may also be required to invite people with special knowledge, skills or experience, for example technical knowledge for the design of a project the council seeks to undertake. The clerk and ordinary citizens who are not members of the council are not allowed to take part in the decision-making and voting process. Order of business during a meeting: There is a given procedure and sequence according to which CCs have to conduct their meetings:
1. Confirm legality of a CC meeting
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2. Discuss and adopt agenda of meeting 3. Review and adopt minutes of previous meeting; signing of the minutes bypresiding councillor
with documents and correspondence submitted for consideration and decision making
5. Other mattersDecision making: Every councillor is entitled to vote at every CC meeting. Voting is done by raising hands. The number of votes in favour and the number against the tabled proposal have to be announced immediately and recorded in the minutes.
Record keeping and filing
What is record keeping?Record keeping means safekeeping of all information for future use and reference. Most documents will be in a written style but there could also be audio or video tapes. Record keeping is an important aspect of the administration of CCs.
What are the benefits of record keeping?Easy access to information to guide CCs in deliberation Continuity, so that information remains available even after officials move out and new ones move in A record of history Improved transparency of the operations of CCs
What are examples of the types of records to be kept? Minutes of meetings Incoming and outgoing correspondence The commune/sangkat development plan and budget Financial records Inventory of properties of the CC Address books with names, addresses, phone and fax numbers, locations, email addresses of collaborators and partners, e.g. NGOs, donor agencies, sector departments Contract proposals or fundraising activities Existing business links in the district or region and so on Village data books Commune deikas Record keeping must be done in a new and open way, making public access and knowledge of information and records a high priority, as opposed to secrecy. If CCs are making efforts to enhance transparency and
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accountability, they can do many things to ensure that the public are made aware of key decisions and other pieces of information that affect them. They can arrange spots at council offices where people feel able to come and find out whatever they want to know. They can make people aware of records and information in the office that are open to the public. Councils can work in an open way, offering information and responding promptly and positively to requests for information. Information is a key tool for democracy and development. Print documents can be arranged in files so that people have easy access to them. Records should be kept in the office as long as stipulated in the respective regulation.
Delegating and segregating tasks and responsibilities
CCs have many tasks to perform. If they delegate tasks and responsibilities to others this enables many people to participate in development activities. This is good for two reasons: More work can be done which means more positive developments in the commune/sangkat. More people are involved and participating which means that they will feel a sense of ownership. Delegation of tasks is not easy: it is not just a matter of passing on the work. This is a set of skills that most people have to learn in order to do it well.
What needs to be considered to ensure that delegation is well done? Define the What exactly is the task a person is asked to do? task clearly What standard is required? Have you given the person all the information and material needed to do the job? Set a time limit on when to accomplish the task Define exactly How many people are required to do the job? who should be What level of knowledge, skill or experience is doing the task needed? Are there enough people with the right level of knowledge, experience or skills? Supervision What and when do the people have to report to you? How much freedom are you giving them to do it their way? Or has the task to be accomplished in a particular way? Check Ensure the person knows exactly what to do understanding Allow them to ask questions.
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Coordinate commune/ sangkat planning systemLAMC Article 60: "Commune/sangkat councils must prepare, approve and implement a commune/sangkat development plan in the purpose of determining the perspectives, programs and the development of the commune/sangkat."
Every CC has to develop the commune development plan (CDP) in the first year of its mandate and every year must prepare a three-year rolling commune investment program (CIP). It is up to CCs, local communities and citizens to decide and implement what shall happen in each area. Participation of citizens and local communities is an important feature of commune/sangkat development planning. This means reaching out to women and men, poor and rich, old and young, employed and unemployed. When it comes to the implementation of projects and programs, CCs have to ensure that beneficiaries are adequately involved in the detailed design and supervision of all projects of the development plan. Six months before the end of the mandate of the CC, the results and impacts of the implementation of the development plan have to be evaluated.
The changing commune planning processesProcess of commune development planning Phase 1: Data analysis and needs assessment Step 1: Data analysis and commune/sangkat level needs assessment Step 2: Participatory needs assessment Step 3: Prioritization of development issues Phase 2: Identification of strategy Step 4: Identification of strategies and projects Phase 3: Projects formulation Step 5: Formulation and costing of projects Step 6: Medium-term revenue forecast Step 7: Selection of projects Step 8: District integration workshop Phase 4: Program formulation Step 9: Formulation of integrated programs Step 10: Drafting of CDP and CIP Phase 5: Approval formulation Step 11: Approval of CDP and CIP Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: Step 1: Step 2: Step 3: Step 4: Step 5: Cycle of CDP Draft development framework and budget Consultation meeting on commune development Draft CDP Approve CDP Evaluate implementation of CDP
Cycle of CIP Commune project formulation and budgeting District integration workshop Dissemination and consultation with commune residents Approve CIP Monitoring and evaluation of CIP
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Ensure public participation in the planning processLAMC Article 64: "The commune/sangkat development plan must determine the methods and means to provide opportunities for participation by the citizens of its commune/sangkat throughout the whole process."
What are the benefits of participation? Participation ensures that projects really address the interests and needs of the people; they are therefore more successful. Citizens will feel more responsible for projects in their area when they are involved in the decisions, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of development activities. Participation makes people more independent from outside assistance because they start thinking of doing by themselves, finding solutions to their problems and initiating action. Participation supports poverty reduction efforts because poor people also get involved. Participation therefore helps CCs to use their resources effectively and efficiently. What might be the difficulties in public participation? The concept of participation is new to everybody; councillors have to learn how to facilitate participation; citizens have to learn the processes for getting involved. People who are directly involved in decision making may dominate others. There may be people, for example, women, the poor, the disabled, etc., who are afraid to speak out about their needs and are not, because of prevailing social taboos, able to stand up to defend their interests. What might be possible ways to improve public participation? In village meetings, citizens are to be given an opportunity to discuss their needs and interests. It has to be ensured that all sections of the population women and men, old and young, rich and poor etc. are given an opportunity to express their needs and concerns. CSOs can contribute in the preparation of the CDP and CIP by representing the interests of local communities and specific groups of the population, e.g. poor people, women, ethnic minorities, etc. CSOs can impart knowledge and ideas in the preparation of the CDP. The people should be given an opportunity to comment on the CDP. Citizens should be involved in monitoring implementation of the CDP.
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Manage commune/ sangkat finances
LAMC Article 73: "Communes/sangkats must have their own financial resources, budgets and assets." LAMC Article 82: "Communes/sangkats shall establish a system for management, monitoring and control of its finance."
CCs are given the power to manage their financial resources. They are given the responsibility to manage these reliably and responsibly, so that the public can trust them. Nothing can arouse public mistrust like question marks over money spent. What are the major sources of income of CCs? CCs have three major sources of income. They are empowered to collect direct revenue, e.g. to fix local taxes for land or for buildings. They are allowed to charge fees when they deliver services. The law also states that details will be spelled out in a separate law. They will also receive a share of the Commune/Sangkat Fund. This Fund shall be established to transfer resources from the national level to the CCs. The Fund will have a component for administrative expenditures and a component for development expenditures of councils. The share of the Commune/Sangkat Fund that will be received by each CC will be determined by means of a transparent formula. They are entitled to accept fees when they perform duties on behalf of the national government. This is termed "agency functions". CCs have to apply a range of procedures to ensure that resources are spent in a transparent and accountable manner.
1. The commune/sangkat budget 2. The commune/sangkat accounting system 3. Financial reporting 4. Expenditure cycle 5. Procurement rules 6. Commune/sangkat durable assets 7. Audit of commune/sangkat accounts and operations
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Developing action planAn action plan is a document which shows in a detailed way how people want to make something happen. It is a list of activities that they intend to do over a period of time. It shows what they intend to do, when they intend to do it and who will do it.
CCs have many tasks to accomplish. These need to be put in order so that everyone knows what will happen in the future. It is important to know who is responsible for different tasks and who will do what and when. An action plan: Guides future activities Reminds people about activities so that they can prepare in advance Helps new staff and outsiders to know what everyone is doing
Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring is a process of gathering information about the progress of work and using this information so that decisions and planning for the future are well informed. Monitoring helps see what is going well and what needs to be changed or improved.
CCs are particularly requested to monitor the following: Implementation of plans, programs, projects and services delivered for the wellbeing of citizens Finances, e.g. accounting practices, asset management, audit management and financial management Monitoring helps In observing how things are progressing In identifying problems and matters that are not going correctly In making decisions for appropriate changes to get things back on track In using resources more effectively and efficiently In maintaining good quality
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Objectives of the moduleTo provide legal knowledge and understanding on the overall meaning of public service delivery as perceived by the government, and the government perspective and policy on public service delivery.
Expectations of the moduleIt is expected that by end of this session participants will have a basic understanding of: Perspectives, objectives and commitments of the government on public service delivery; Meaning of public service, different methods and mechanisms for providing public services; Legal frameworks and coordination for effective provision of public services; Challenges in public service delivery at local level.
This module is adapted from the Cambodian government policy on public service delivery (serving people better) adopted by Full Session of Council of Ministers, Cambodia on May 5, 2006.
Government perspective on public service deliveryStrategies and programs adopted in recent years, such as the NSDP and the Governance Action Plan (GAP II) have demonstrated a clear objective and acted as a compass towards the implementation of the priority reform areas of the RGC as stipulated in the Rectangular Strategy.
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Cambodia has no better choice than to reform while it is within a context of gaining benefits from peace and stability. The current public administration is motivated towards comprehensive and deeper reform, so as to become an efficient and effective service provider and a trusted development partner to fulfill the mission of serving people better, as stated by Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen. In this environment, all ministries/institutions and public administration actors are obligated to works towards entrenching sustainable change and strengthening leadership and ownership of Cambodia. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen on 6 June 2006 said that the public administration had to have four main characteristics, as follows: Encouragement and strong motivation to work: the public administration must be devoted to working and should encourage the work of civil servants. Loyalty: the public administration that is the assistant of the RGC and state institutions have to be loyal to the state and the people. Focus on service: the public administration has to be transformed from the administrator to respectful service provider and be fair in serving and responding to the real needs of the people. Professionalism: the public administration has to perform its duties with transparency, capacity and effectiveness. The characteristics of the public administration outlined above can not be achieved unless the behaviors and the working habits of civil servants are changed. The success of reform will depend on the speed of this change in terms of the way of thinking and working behavior of civil servants, from administrator towards service provider, in a manner that is more effective and focuses especially on the following: Accessibility for the consumer; Politeness, friendliness and close attention to consumers needs; Timely, effective and user-friendly service provision; Explanation and response to all questions on services and complaints. In addition to the text of GAP II, which the Council of Ministers adopted on 3 February 2006, the Council for Administrative Reform (CAR) has been developing many policies to broaden and deepen the areas of reforms and to ensure the success of the Rectangular Strategy. These are the Policy on Public Service Delivery; the Common Principle on Public Service Delivery through the mechanism of the One Window Office; the Policy on Human Resource Management; the Policy on Human Resource Development; the Policy on the Remuneration; the Policy on Employment Management; the Management Framework for Capacity Development; and the Promotion of ICT. These policies will assist in improving public service delivery.The RGC has developed and launched the five-year National Program for Administrative Reform NPAR (2004-2008) in which it sets clearly the main objective as being : serving people better. The strategy of this program is based on the four main pillars: (1) improve service delivery; (2) enhance pay and employment; (3) develop capacity; and (4) promote ICT. The priority mission groups (PMGs) are the core of the strategy.
The Policy on Public Service Delivery is the result of participative discussion and exchange of ideas among ministries/institutions on many occasions, such
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as inter-ministerial meetings. These led to its adoption by the Council of Ministers in a full session meeting on 5 May 2006. The policy sets out definitions and categories of state public services; objective and strategy; mechanism of implementation; improvement in legal frameworks; and coordination of implementation. It not only guides senior management and civil servants but also shows the range of priority actions that the RGC should take for administrative reform in order to enable the public administration to be capable of serving the people better.
Government policy on public service deliveryDefinition and kinds of public service delivery The Policy on Public Service Delivery sets out definitions and categories of state public services; objective and strategy; mechanism of implementation; improvement in legal frameworks; and coordination of implementation. In addition, the policy is to be the principal document for the implementation of various reforms with a view to improving service delivery based on good past and recent experience.
Competent agency:refers to the state institutions or state agents or all levels of state authorities working within their areas of competent jurisdiction.
Public service:defined in the following way: All activities undertaken by the competent or delegated agency with a view to serving the public interest are public services.
Delegated agency:refers to private sector or CSOs delegated particular responsibilities and duties by state but stay under control of state and state agents. Control by state or state agents of the private sector or CSO is based on clauses in the defined agreement or contract including work activities, results to be achieved, objectives and other intended social impacts.
Public services, as defined above and falling under this policy are divided into seven categories, depending on sectors and responsibilities of ministries/institutions.
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Services relating to state sovereignty Services relating to security, public order and social safety Services relating to justice and arbitration Services relating to enhancing trade matters, SMEs, the investment environment and the participation of the private sector in construction and maintenance of infrastructure Social services, culture and womens affairs Services related to the development of physical infrastructure Services related to revenue collection, expenditure rationalization and disbursement
Services relating to state sovereignty
Services relating to state sovereignty are the exclusive responsibility of the state and are provided by state agencies or legal entities to which, under public law, the state has delegated the power to implement them. Services relating to state sovereignty include: permits, licenses, civil status certificates, birth certificates, vehicle identification cards, certificates of title, Khmer citizen identity cards, family registration, legalization, etc. In relation to these services, the organization and execution of delivery are the responsibility of the state or state agents. These are services relating to security, public order, accommodation, travel, communication and social safety. These are within the competency of the competent authorities, police, gendarmerie and armed forces. These services are very important for protecting the environment for the development of the country; poverty reduction; peoples happiness and tranquility; and stability and certainty for investors and businessmen in doing business. With regard to these services, their organization and execution of delivery are the responsibility of the state or state agents. These are services relating to justice and arbitration of conflicts between citizen and citizen or citizen and civil service or citizen and private sector or civil service and private sector etc. These services are provided by two bodies: (a) The arbitration council: coordinates resolution of minor litigation in order to bring together both parties outside the court system and reduce overload of litigations within the court of law. (b) The court of law: In case litigants do not accept the resolution made by the arbitration council they approach the court of law. The confidence of service consumers and other stakeholders is dependent on the laws execution with effectiveness, quality, morality, justice and transparency in the context of maintaining the rule of law. Therefore, all activities for work improvement have to be organized step by step and carefully, with a view to enhancing the quality and effectiveness of judicial services. Enhancing trade affairs The RGC, as the strategist and manager of the development process, responsible for creating an environment conducive to enhancing private enterprise, considers the private sector as
Services relating to security, public order and social safety
Services relating to justice and arbitration
Services relating to enhancing trade matters, SMEs,
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the investment environment, and the participation of the private sector in construction and maintenance of infrastructure
the engine of growth. A particular priority is given in the preparation of measures that establish an overall environment conducive to private sector development through various concrete steps: i. Strengthening both public and corporate governance; ii. Reducing bureaucracy and red tape within ministries/institutions concerned with import-export; iii. Eliminating the overlapping works of ministries/institutions by promoting effectively the process of one-stop control; and iv. Improving the implementation of the One Window Office mechanism at the international border gateway. SMEs The RGC continues to promote the development of SMEs through the following policies: i. Encourage the development of SMEs, especially through the provision of medium and long-term finance; ii. Suppress all kinds of smuggling; iii. Reduce registration and start-up procedures for companies; iv. Facilitate import-export activities by simplifying procedures such as licensing and other letters of permission; v. Reduce time consumed and prices charged for services for approval for SME production operations through the use of One Window Office mechanism; vi. Provide protection support to select enterprises for an appropriate period of time; vii.Promote alliances between SMEs and large enterprises, etc. To achieve the above objectives, the RGC focuses on: i. Encouraging domestic production to replace imports, and to respond to the strategy for the establishment of local production bases to conform to the prevailing environment of regionalization and globalization; ii. Developing a strategy to upgrade the competitive capacity of SMEs; and iii. Developing an action plan and regulations to support and monitor the work of SMEs. Investment environment and private participation in construction and maintenance of infrastructure Related to this task, the RGC will implement the necessary measures to improve the investment and business environment. Measures include an incentive policy; directive regulations; and promoting the private sectors participation in construction and maintenance of infrastructure. The structure of these services clusters that have not yet adequately responded to the necessary demands for facilitating business operation, investment and private sector development has to be changed appropriately and immediately to conform to the real situation and existing resources.
Services of social affairs, culture, and womens affairs
These services include: education services (enhancing quality of education for all; learning materials; and the right of access to basic education); health and sanitation services (accessibility, quality and effectiveness in providing equitable and sustainable basic health services to the people, especially
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to the poor and most vulnerable); entertainment services; social services; services providing protection for orphans, vulnerable children, the handicapped; services that enhance the participation of women in economic development; and other services that assist in reducing poverty.
Services related to development of physical infrastructure
Services related to physical infrastructure development are a major priority of the RGC in promoting and speeding economic growth and reducing poverty. The development of physical infrastructures has to focus on further construction of transportation system such as: roads, bridges, railways, waterways, ports, airports; and hospitals, schools, wells, clean water systems, irrigation systems, electricity, power, information technology, and post and telecommunications, etc. In regard to these services, the RGC promotes incentive policies to encourage participation from all stakeholders, especially the private sector. These services relate to the improvement of revenue management, more transparent and efficient expenditure and disbursement system and procedures in order to reduce difficulties of service consumers. In order to facilitate implementation, ministries/institutions responsible for any of the above seven categories of services must prepare and properly compile the list of these services. In case, there is any progression in the market economy, modern technology and other real demand as a result of the evolution of the society; the public service will be redefined conducive to that evolution. The provision of all categories of public service delivery, regardless of mechanisms, places and circumstances, has to pay attention to the possible ways of supporting the access to the poor, the handicapped, old persons and children within both urban and rural areas.
Services related to revenue collection, expenditure rationalization and disbursement
Objective and methodology
ObjectivesThe strategic objective of the RGC in public service delivery is to serve people better. This means the public administration has to:
Ensure accessibility to service
Provide sufficient, clear and understandable information; reduce bureaucracy and red tape with a view to reducing the difficulties of service consumers in seeking services by themselves and reduce extra payments being made for unofficial operational processes.
Focus on real needs of service consumers
In the past, the civil servant, as the administrator, predefined the type of service to be delivered to consumers, even though some services might not meet their needs. Now, as the service provider, the civil servant has to change working
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behavior and define the category of services based on the consumers needs and market demand.
Provide Services to Where Needed
The public administration has to deliver services to places where they are needed except in those cases where this can not be done. For example, the specialized and very costly service offered in a heart surgery operation can be made available only in a very few places, say Phnom Penh. For all general cases, the public administration should be people-centered in providing services. For example, where the people require some kinds of services in some places, the administration should define such kinds of services to be offered in such locations. This will avoid consumers seeking services far away from their community.
Transparent and accountable service delivery
The service provider has to provide comprehensive and open information without discrimination and focus on timely delivery based on quality and with high responsibility. Meanwhile, the service provider has to give information and opportunities to consumers to monitor and understand the procedures, criticize, complain or seek improvements in service delivery to meet their demand and upgrade the efficiency, effectiveness and transparency and thus uphold the principles of good governance.
Quality, efficiency and effectiveness of services
The service provider has to meet the defined standards of service. This means what is delivered to consumers has to conform to set standards in price, time and quality. The quality of service has to be determined based on the consumers satisfaction, where the services respond to the demand and are in the general interest of the consumers. If the public administration can not provide or afford to produce some services, the state can find development partners who are able to help meet the needs of the consumers.
MethodologyIn order to achieve above stated objective, there are two main strategies for the implementation process: First, change the attitude and the work behavior of the civil service from being the administrator to being the service provider. This is a key point because, in spite of having good paradigms and good procedures for implementation, if civil servants do not want to change attitude, the quality of service delivery can not be made efficient and effective. The service provider has to serve consumers with good behavior, covering language used and general work communication behavior. To deliver services with quality, efficiency and effectiveness primarily requires that civil servants possess a clear understanding about the concept of service provider and service consumer so as to be able to change the way of thinking with the aim of reducing bureaucracy and red tape in service delivery. The change in the way of thinking and the attitudes of civil servants, away from ideas deeply rooted in the concept of administrator, is time consuming.
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Second, change work processes from the functional structure to the operational structure. This approach is focused on the improvement of working behavior within the public administration toward results. Currently, the work behavior in the functional structure follows the defined procedures and regulations without thinking about results, efficiency and effectiveness and satisfaction of service consumers. The operational structure is implemented through two concepts: front office" and "back office. Front office The front office communicates directly with consumers. In order to make the front office more capable in providing a service to the people and to its clients, the civil servants or agents employed in this section should have good understanding and competencies related to public services; have a good attitude; concentrate on the needs of the clients; and explain the particularities of their services and be able to solve the problems of consumers. The front office has the duty to provide information; explain the procedures for procuring and delivering services; send necessary documents on specialized areas; receive service fees; and provide results and decisions made in relation to the service requests filed by the consumers. Where necessary, additional instruction and assistance should be provided on getting and filling up required application forms for consumers who do not know how to fill forms or can not read and write. Back office The back office is the main area supporting the success of the front office. The back office has duties of checking application forms and other documents, making suggestions and forwarding files to those who make decisions and then sending them back to the front office. The organization of the back office should be based on five main factors: Human resources: The civil servant has to understand the new concept of delivering public services by meeting standards related to quality, efficiency and effectiveness, by changing work attitudes, habits and behavior from administrator to service provider; s/he has to receive training to increase capacity, strengthen professionalism, and enhance knowledge and know-how. S/he should be responsible for service delivery that meets the market demand. In the context of human resource management, priority should be given to civil servants who make good achievements in grade promotion, medal awards and other incentives. Financial resources: These should conform to the annual work plan and action plan of each domain. In addition, cash transactions should take place as per schedule. Planning: The back office should develop strategic and operational plans for timely, quality and effective delivery of services. The plans include: work plan, action plan, budget plan, financial plan, expected result and risk assessment. Audit and evaluation: The implementation of the action plan for public service delivery has to be managed, monitored, evaluated and audited in order to compare with expected results defined in the action plan.
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ICT: The usage of ICT is a modern method for making important changes in communication behavior between the public administration system and service consumers. ICT can be used to reduce bureaucracy and time consumed; to increase transparency, effectiveness and efficiency; and to ensure there is access to information and services when and where needed. In summary, there should be smooth interaction between front office and back office operations, coordinated at all stages in order to achieve the ultimate objective: serving the people better. Mechanism of implementation The implementation mechanisms outlined below aim at facilitating the work of ministries/institutions in improving and establishing standards. However, implementation of mechanisms is dependent on circumstances and real situations within the public administration system of Cambodia. The success of public service delivery is based on processes and mechanisms; timing of implementation; and the price charged for services delivered to the people. The following mechanisms are possible for public service delivery. Improvement in the process of public service delivery Improving process of service delivery is one basic mechanism to improve public service delivery. This is to be done within all ministries/institutions and state agencies by eliminating overlapping functions or removing uncertainties about duties and procedures. Focus should be given to work procedures and process; time consumed; cost of service; efficiency and effectiveness; quality of public service; and public trust. One Window Office The One Window Office is a mechanism for public service delivery which facilitates access of the people to the services through simple procedures, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, and attends views and needs of consumers. This mechanism combines clusters of public services and provides access at one single place for applying and receiving services, by setting a standard period for delivery and use of services and setting specific prices for services. Good practice learned from earlier implementation is to be used as a model for countrywide replication. The One Window Office should be organized on the basis of a clear division of roles, duties and comparative competencies. The organization, function, framework, principles, procedures and structure of the One Window Office are to be based on the decision of the RGC. Deconcentration of public services The organization of the public administration system is a strategic and priority task, as stipulated within the Strategic Framework on D&D Reforms adopted by the RGC at the plenary session of the Council of Ministers on 17 June 2005. However, deconcentration in this policy determines public service and public service delivery within public administration authorities at the sub-national level through a unified administration system. The unified administration of the provinces/municipalities and districts/khans will assist in coordinating all public administrative activities in respective territories with a view to encouraging development and service delivery to meet peoples needs.
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Decentralization of public service As provisioned in LAMC, the commune/sangkat administration has two roles to perform: i. Manage local affairs to serve the interest of the commune/sangkat and its people; and ii. Function as the state agent representative under the designation or delegation of the State authority. LAMC Articles 43 and 44 state the duties of the commune/sangkat administration in performing the above two roles. Communes/Sangkats have to manage their delivery of public service step by step. This should be based on the real situation of development of the economy and consumer demand. Public establishments with administrative characteristics Public establishments with administrative characteristics are another form of mechanism for public service delivery. These are accorded financial or administrative autonomy and are legal entities under public law, mainly responsible for providing administrative, social, health, cultural, scientific or technical services. Such public establishments possesses following criteria: i. Nomenclature and office; ii. Objective of activity (mission statement); iii. Board of Directors directing and managing operations with own kind of management; iv. Own budget; v. Resources for executing activities as planned in the mission statement; vi. Capacity to sign contracts and to bring suits or defenses under the law in a court of law; and vii. Responsible under penal law and civil law for activities of legitimate representatives or employees working for the establishment. A public establishment with administrative characteristics is created by subdecree, following the joint proposal of ministries or the technical curatorial authority and the MEF. The public establishment has to define mission, privileges, obligations, composition of Board of Directors, and special rules for executing the management and control of the establishment, and has to specify also the curatorial ministry/institution or authority. The conditions and principles for creation of public establishments with administrative characteristics have to conform to the Royal Degree NS.RKT, dated 31 December 1997 on the legal statute of public establishments with administrative characteristics. Public enterprises Public enterprises are another kind of mechanism for public service delivery by the state, established under private law and public law. A public enterprise is a legal entity with financial autonomy, and the majority or all of its capital belongs to the State. A public enterprise as per its mission is established to foster the countrys economic and social development, namely by increasing the value of natural resources and creating jobs. The public enterprise has the institutional form of: i. Public establishments with economic characteristics; ii. State companies; iii. Joint ventures where the state directly or indirectly holds more than 51% of capital or the right to vote.
Citizens' Rating Report
The public enterprise shall be under the technical responsibility of a ministry or public authority, depending on the type of the enterprises activities. i. Public establishments with economic characteristics: These are legal entities under public law and possess financial autonomy. These institutions produce goods or sell services for the market. They are created by subdecree, following a joint proposal of the MEF and the responsible ministry or authority. The sub-decree determines duties, capital, responsible ministry or authority, composition of the Board of Directors, administrative and financial management, and the rules of operations of the establishments. ii. State companies: A state company is one whose total capital belongs to the state. It has to compete in the market and operates independently. The state company is created by sub-decree following a joint proposal by the MEF and the responsible ministry or authority. This sub-decree specifies objective, legal status, responsible ministry or authority, applied system of control, and composition of the Board of Directors. The ministry or authority with technical responsibility is responsible for completing the following procedures for the establishment of such a company: Preparing the statute of the company with the agreement of the MEF; Conducting commercial registration; and Filling in all forms