At a Wednesday meeting on the 2020 action plan of the General Department of Identity (GDI), Minister of Interior Sar Kheng urged the department to accelerate the drafting of a law entitled “Civic Registration, Registration Statistics and Identification.”

The draft law first surfaced last year and its main goal is to identify citizens without a doubt. Officials said the law will be finalised by the end of this year.

Sar Kheng said it is important to stay on schedule despite complications caused by Covid-19.

“It should be ready by the end of this year. But we all know that the Covid-19 crisis could create obstacles. However, making specific plans is the most important task, and we need to plan for next year and subsequent years as well,” Sar Kheng said.

The minister said the GDI will continue to accelerate the finalisation of the draft law and strive to promote identification work with the One Window Service, which is piloting and building a database to manage data and human resources.

Top Neth, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Identification confirmed on Thursday the law should be finalised by the end of this year and is intended to determine the right to store data, collect data, and maintain privacy data.

Data collected by the government from citizens will be stored and protected, he said. “This draft needs a lot of stakeholders, so it’s a bit late to finalise it. But as per the direction of Sar Kheng, we have to do it by the end of the year,” he said.

Neth said the law will provide guidelines on how data is collected, used, kept confidential and how it will be used by the government to serve the national interest. The identity of every citizen will be protected, he said.

He said currently there is a lack of a clear management system and some individuals have used the opportunity to create two identities.