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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Free spenders told to tighten belts

Free spenders told to tighten belts

G OVERNMENT Ministers have been instructed to rein in their mobile telephone bills because some were spending thousands of dollars of public money on them each month.

An order by Minister of Finance Kiet Chhon (right) has put limits on how much senior government officials can use their mobile phones.

The Co-Prime Ministers are the only ones who can make unlimited calls.

Vice-ministers are allowed to spend no more than $150 a month on them; Senior Ministers, $125; Secretaries and Undersecretaries of State, and provincial and city governors, $100; other lesser government and provincial officials, $75.

Kiet Chhon's edict said officials needing to make international calls should use facsimiles or IDD telephones after getting approval from their ministry of department heads.

The Minister described the government's spending on officials' telephone bills since September 1993 as a "squandering" of state money.

One Minister is reported to have racked up more than $10,000 of calls, many of them international, on his mobile telephone in one month alone.

Kiet Chhon has also ordered government staff to stop buying more cars and other luxuries.

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