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Transfer of power in issuance of family books

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A local police officer gives a family book to a resident of Takeo province’s Koh Andet district. Police

The Ministry of Interior on Wednesday decided to transfer the responsibility of issuing family and residence books to commune and district police across the Kingdom.

The ministerial directive titled “Transfer of Authority in Issuing Family and Residence Books” states that the issuance of residence books, previously managed by the district police, will now be under the responsibilities of the commune police. On the other hand, the task of overseeing the publication of family books will be transferred from the provincial and municipal police to district police.

Aside from the provision of the books, the respective local authorities will also be responsible for confirming residency, checking changes or additions in family members, relocation of residence and other corrections.

“Residence and family books issued in the past will have legal validity until the date of renewal,” the directive stated.

Say Meng Chheang, spokesman for the General Department of Identification at the Ministry of Interior, said yesterday that the transfer of authority is in line with the government’s National Rectangular Strategy and a sub-decree which mandates the ministry to seek ways to provide public service in an easier and speedier manner.

“The duration of making and registering family and residence books will be shortened [from the previous month-long process]. The process will also be much more efficient as we have enough supplies of books at police stations,” said Mr Meng Chheang.

A small number of people in the past, he said, have complained over the slow provision of the books, as well as a lack in books, blaming the inefficient documentation process for the delay.

Chhay Mouykeang, 39, a resident of Phnom Penh’s Chamkar Mon district, said the transfer of authority will make the process more convenient for the people.

“Because some residents live far away from the city and provincial towns, they are forced to spend money on travelling. Therefore, if the services are provided within the communes and districts, the services will be much more accessible. I hope the process will indeed be faster than before,” she said.

A government sub-decree ratified in 1997 states that the family record book serves the important purpose of identifying members of families with Khmer nationality, including the spouse and children, whether blood-related or adopted; whereas residence books will collect information on the number of people in each household.

According to the General Department of Identification, family and residence books are useful for applying for jobs, passport, national ID card, enrollment, and birth, marriage or death certificates, among others.

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