The wages of 400,000 civil servants from 39 government ministries are to be paid via a new electronic banking system due to be rolled out next month.
Secretary of State for the Ministry of Economy and Finance Chu Kim Leng announced the new payroll system on Friday, according to local media reports, marking the beginning of the end for cash-only payments in the government sector.
The ministry, ACLEDA Bank, Canadia Bank and WING – a company that allows clients to make and receive payments using their mobile phones – signed off on the deal last week.
According to In Channy, president and CEO of ACLEDA, the government will deposit salaries into an account at either one of the two participating banking institutions or with WING starting in January 2014.
“The two banks and WING are the options the employees of ministries can choose to get their salary through,” he said.
Cambodia National Rescue Party chief whip Son Chhay said yesterday the move away from hard cash was well overdue but warned more work still needs to be done.
“This is what the government should have done a long time ago,” Chhay said.
“We still need to know how the system will work. What is the paperwork that government officials will need to get done to open a new bank account?”
Chhay raised fears over the transparency of the new system and the existence of “ghost staff” – nonexistent government staff receiving salary payments.
“I doubt it will in any way help reduce corruption.… We have heard reports of civil servants losing money or having a percentage of their salaries taken out by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.”
He said that the government should make sure that those who receive salary payments are all legitimate government employees.
The Ministry of Economy and Finance could not be reached for comment yesterday.