The Foreign Affairs Ministry released a statement yesterday clarifying the policies that will be used to collect service passports from public servants after they have returned from their missions abroad and are no longer authorized to use them.
The statement comes on the heels of an announcement last week that border officials would begin collecting service passports from public servants when they crossed back into the Kingdom on March 21. The passports, according to Foreign Minister Hor Namhong, will be held by the Ministry of Interior until they are needed for additional missions abroad.
The statement released yesterday added that the ministry will not charge public servants if and when they need to be reissued a passport, and said that the ministry was aware of previous instances of public servants using service passport to work abroad illegally.
“It surprised the authorities of that country [South Korea, where migrant workers were found using service passports last month] and interested them because they did not understand why illegal migrant workers held service passport,” the statement read.
“In order to protect our reputation and national prestige, and the value of a service passport, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has asked for the approval of Prime Minister Hun Sen to hold inactive service passports,” it added, and said the passports would be reissued to public servants efficiently when they needed them for new missions and would also be automatically renewed when they expired.
Last week, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong asked Interior Minister Sar Kheng to order his immigration officials to collect all service passport from the public servants who ended mission to keep at Foreign Ministry. This action will be started to enforce on March 21.