Message from the Prime Minister

Study Visit to One Window Service Offices in Moung Ruessei District, Bavel district and Battambang Municipality Battambang Province, 3 -5 July 2017

 

A study visit took place from 3rd to 5th July 2017 to three Sub-National Administrations in Battambang, including Moung Ruessei and Bavel districts as well as Battambang Municipality which all established a One Window Service Office (OWSO). This visit was organised by the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and Ministry of Civil Service (MCS) in cooperation with the EU Project for Decentralisation and Administrative Reform (EU DAR). EU DAR is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-funded by the European Union (EU). It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).             

 

During the visit, interviews were held with the chiefs of OWSO, the chiefs of the District/Municipal (D/M) Ombudsman, governors and/or deputy governors in charge of OWSO as well as with the administrative directors of the three D/M. The study visit was conducted in line with a decision of the EU DAR Political Steering Committee which had decided to test a Performance Management System (PMS) within the OWSOs of EU DAR’s partner districts. The purpose of the study visit was therefore to learn about the current situation of OWSOs which are in operation as well as to learn about which Human Resource/PMS related instruments are currently applied and how. This field visit will help the national level (MCS, MOI) and EU DAR to better understand what would be the needs of support from the national level to OWSO operation and PMS implementation (what/how to start PMS in OWSO) in EU DAR’s partner sub-national administrations.       

 

The study visit focused on key issues as follows: (1) general operation of OWSO; (2) human resource management and development (number of staffs, individual and organizational work plan, annual personnel plan, staff attendance, position description, performance assessment, capacity development); (3) awareness raising about OWSO; (4) coordination with sector departments/offices; (5) assurance of quality of service; (6) challenges; (7) necessary support.     

 

Based on the interview with the three OWSOs, District Ombudsman (DO) and District Administrations of the three D/M, the team  observed that the OWSOs in general provide responsive, effective, and timely administrative services to citizens which helps to reduce for example administrative  complexities and, unofficial charges for citizens.   However, some of the challenges observed included some services not yet being available at the OWSOs which required applicants to seek for assistance/approval from other line departments/offices/sectors which were not yet under the roof of the OWSOs. This has created uncertainty and to some extent unwillingness among citizens to use the services offered by OWSOs.   

 

In addition, a lack of staff availability both for the front and especially the back offices was observed. The reason for this shortage, especially with regard to the back offices is that staff usually lives far away from their place of work which discourages some to attend their work place regularly. 

 

Furthermore, it was observed that initial and follow-up awareness raising was always not widely conducted, especially by   the newly established OWSOs, due to a lack of resources.    

 

Additional attention will also have to be given in future to the monitoring of the quality of services and/or service users’ satisfaction with OWSOs. This is not the responsibility of the OWSO but of the local Ombudsman. It was observed that currently there is little interaction between the Ombudsman and OWSOs in communicating and/or exchanging information from the results of citizen satisfaction surveys/feedback for the further improvement of OWSO service provision. 

 

Human Resource Management/Development instruments such as position description, monthly or annual work plan for individual and organizational level, capacity development plan are also not yet fully implemented/practiced.     

 

The three OWSOs clearly voiced their requests for support on the above mentioned issues including: assistance in more widely sharing awareness to citizens about the administrative services offered; good cooperation from    line departments/offices; more staff to serve in OWSOs and; capacity development for existing staff. 

 

The visit has shown that OWSOs require ongoing technical support from the national level as well as additional resources in order to improve the quality of services they can offer to citizens even further.