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EU officials question committee on budget

Finance and banking commission chairman Cheam Yeap.
Finance and banking commission chairman Cheam Yeap. Pha Lina

EU officials question committee on budget

European Union representatives yesterday met with the National Assembly’s commission on finance and banking to ask about oversight of Cambodia’s national budget, which has long been the subject of criticism for its lack of transparency.

According to EU Ambassador George Edgar, the EU officials met with the commission members at the assembly in the morning and were given a presentation by the commission’s chairman, CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap.

After the presentation, EU officers quizzed the commission about its oversight role in budget preparation and budget execution, said Edgar, who declined to comment on the commission’s capacity.

“Discussions included the structure and functioning of the commission, the process for approval and review of the Budget Law and the Budget Settlement Law, as well as follow up of the annual audit reports,” he said.

Edgar said the meeting was a part of the delegation’s ongoing assessment of its Public Finance Management Re­form Programme, which mainly focuses on enhancing the capacity of the Ministry of Economy and Finance and other relevant ministries.

The ambassador said the EU and Sweden, which also supports the project, had recently agreed to contribute €30 million (about $33.3 million) over three years for its third stage.

Following the meeting yesterday, Yeap told journalists the commission stressed its commitment to accountability, transparency, equity and effectiveness.

In June, members of the European Parliament requested that the bloc review its aid to Cambodia, amid what’s widely been labelled a state-backed crackdown on political opponents.

Speaking yesterday, CNRP lawmaker Khy Vandeth, who is also on the commission, said that the meeting did not discuss recent political developments.

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