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Do-little cops off state pay

Nearly 600 police officers who were not performing their duties were cut from the public payroll last year, Cambodia’s national police chief said yesterday, a move reminiscent of civil service cuts announced last month.

“We must enforce the law and manage the development of human resources in our national police,” Neth Savoeun said at a ceremony in Phnom Penh.

“We found and laid-off 588 officials,” he said. The officers were identified and laid-off over the course of last year, according to the National Police annual report released yesterday.

Opposition lawmakers and NGOs hailed the move, saying it should dent both spending and corruption.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said such “ghost” civil servants – who rarely show up to work and retain titles merely to collect paychecks or leverage influence – have cost the country millions of dollars each year. However, he warned that the extent of the issue may not have been fully addressed.

“Some officials who hid ghost officials have not been found or punished,” he claimed.

Last month, the government announced that it had removed more than 4,000 inactive civil servants with a savings of about US$4 million.

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