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PM order for ACU oversight

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A fisherman tends to traps at a fishing lot in Takeo Province’s Bati district.

Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered on Friday that the Anti-Corruption Unit oversee rental bidding for fishing lots nationwide following allegations of bribery and corruption among officials involved in bidding processes, according to a statement from the Council of Ministers’ weekly session.

The order was issued as the premier cancelled the results of bidding processes for seven fishing lots in Kampong Cham, Prey Veng and Takeo provinces, electing to keep the lots vacant until next year.

On October 25, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries opened bidding for three fishing lots in Kampong Cham province, one in Takeo province and three in Prey Veng province.

Fishing vendors claimed that the bidding processes included “abnormalities” and accused bidding management commissions of accepting bribes in exchange for awarding lots, according to a report from the Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, Lim Kean Hor, which was filed to Hun Sen on November 4.

The report states that vendors claimed one bidder who offered 330 million riel (US$81,784) did not secure a lot in Kampong Cham province, and it was leased to someone who had paid only 315 million riel ($78,067).

Por Try, secretary of state at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said yesterday that some vendors who did not understand the regulations were demanding that bidding be reopened.

“If we find any vendors who make a mistake … our commission will cut them out of the fishing lot bidding,” he said.

“We are very happy to implement the premier’s decision and we hope that joining with the ACU will help the commissions to do better and be fair.”

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