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Funding constraint for decentralisation

LocalL authorities may lack the human and financial resources to effectively implement decentralisation and deconcentration reform at the local level, officials said in a seminar yesterday on the government’s Project for Capacity Development for Implementing the Organic Law.

The seminar was held to examine results of the first phase of the decentralisation project and provide a draft outline of the next phase.

“The project has included several intensive studies on local administration and decentralisation and deconcentration reforms in Cambodia,” Leng Vy, director-general of the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Local Administration, said.

“The local citizens have a real need to be able to facilitate the five-year development plan.”

Instead of the present centralised system, in which policy is made by ministries in Phnom Penh and then delegated to provincial departments and district offices, decentralisation and deconcentration aim to create a “unified administration” at the sub-national level, allowing each commune council to create its own development plans and its manage finances.

Leng Vy said finances would remain one of the problems for human resources in implementing the project.

A funding analysis distributed at the seminar detailed government targets of US$10.8 billion in private-sector capital and US$4.2 billion in public-sector capital to fund the implementation of the reforms.

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