One Window Service Offices: Improving Government Transparency and Responsiveness
Democratization movements have become widely popular, especially since the end of World War II in 1945 and the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. One significant aspect of these movements is the changing definition of government and government officers from “Officials” to “Civil Servants.” Governments provide many services and regulate many activities, in part as a way to raise revenues. Dispensing with those services and managing those regulations gives central government agents a considerable amount of power. As “officials” these agents typically use that power to enrich themselves. As “civil servants” they are expected to provide goods and services and manage regulations for the benefit of citizens. Cambodia is now in a major transition from a centralized autocratic society, staffed by “officials,” to a more open and democratic country, staffed by “civil servants.” One aspect of this transition today is the development of One Window Service Offices (OWSO) and District Ombudsmen (DO) that are designed to make government more transparent and accountable, i.e. to turn “officials” into "civil servants."
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