Almost all of the government’s employees and more than 76 per cent of the National Armed Forces receive their salaries directly deposited to a bank account, doing away with the old system of handing over cash to public workers.
According to the General Department of National Treasury, 99.45 per cent of government employees, or 400,000 people, receive salaries in their bank accounts.
The reform measure was initiated in December 2013, when the Ministry of Economy and Finance signed a memorandum of understanding with Acleda and Canadia banks and mobile payment service provider Wing (Cambodia).
After signing the MoU in 2013, the project was implemented in a phased manner last year, and will continue until it covers all of the armed forces employees as well.
Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hang Chuon Naron confirmed yesterday that all ministerial staff received their monthly salaries directly in a bank account, adding that they were working on implementing the same for bonuses and overtime payments.
“We have implemented this since April last year and it has been running smoothly. Presently, 117, 000 staff members of the ministry are getting their salary via bank accounts,” he said.
“It [bonus and overtime payments] is a bit complicated work but we will try our best to do it because it is more convenient for our staff,” he added.
Hang Choun Naron said the new system prevents corrupt practices like certain authorities taking small portions of employees’ salaries before it was disbursed.
“I think we don’t have such kind of bad behaviour anymore now. The problem had been automatically resolved–no one can cut salaries via bank accounts.”
According to Naron, the ministry is planning to transfer school operational money via the bank accounts as well.
“We we are to transfer the money for school operations via the bank too and I hope that we will start from the third quarter of the year,” Naron said.
Yim Sovann, senior official with the CNRP, said that the move has helped ensure salaries reach government workers and prevent them from being drawn under ghost employees.
“It is really good sign and we do appreciate it because the civil servants, whose salary is already low, can get their salary on time and without any cuts like what they used to,” he said. “Now, they can get their full salary – this is the big help to fight corruption.”
“We encourage the government to continue to fully implement this nationwide because the system is to insure the transparency, accountability and sustainability,” he added.