The Ministry of Interior has instructed authorities in all provinces to accelerate the provision of administrative services for the public, noting that they should not charge registration or paperwork fees for work that serves the registration of land.

Minister of Interior Sar Sokha signed a November 29 directive which contained specific service charge exemptions which are designed to accelerate the provision of administrative services that serve the registration of people’s land.

The directive explained that land registration requires people to attach carefully prepared documents, which must be carefully checked and verified by commune officials and town and district administrations. These documents may include ID cards, family books, residence books, or birth or marriage certificates and wills.

“In order to facilitate public participation in the current land registration campaign, we request that all provincial authorities share our orders. They should instruct each of the commune administrations within their purview to prepare an order on the exemption of service fees for the application of land certificates and wills, until the land registration process is completed in each commune,” it said.

“Each of the town, district and commune administrations have to pay close attention to providing administrative services that serve land registration in a quick and time manner,” it added.

In addition, all capital and provincial administrations must assign a working group to support, monitor and evaluate the implementation of this work on a regular basis. The working groups should make regular reports to the General Department of Administration at the Ministry of Interior.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said the ministry’s measures will make a significant contribution to lightening the burden of impoverished people, as it will encourage them to come forward and obtain the documents which are needed to register their land.

“Not charging these fees will help them by easing the financial strain of registering their land. It is important to note, however, that many cadastral officials are still slow in fulfilling their work,” he added.

He continued that in order for land to be registered more quickly, the ministry should think about how to train more local officials and volunteers in this work.

The seventh-mandate government introduced Phase One of the Pentagonal Strategy, which includes sweeping reforms of land rights and urban planning.

The government also established a three-point land policy, with the goals of providing systemic land registration, out-of-court land dispute settlements and transparent and efficient administrative services.