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More firms sign on to anti-corruption pact

The headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Unit in Phnom Penh. Two new firms have signed onto the ACU's anti-corruption pact.
The headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Unit in Phnom Penh. Two new firms have signed onto the ACU's anti-corruption pact. Pha Lina

More firms sign on to anti-corruption pact

Cambodia's national corruption watchdog has added two more firms to its list of private sector companies committed to stamping out corruption, a government news source said yesterday.

The Cambodia Higher Education Association, a non-governmental body dealing with higher education institutions, and Tata Southeast Asia, a local subsidiary of an Indian industrial conglomerate, each signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) pledging to take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and unfair business practices in their companies, state news agency AKP reported.

The addition of the two companies expands the list of organisations that have signed the non-binding agreements with the ACU to 23, it said.

Phim Monisetha, general secretary of the Cambodian Higher Education Association, said the agreement aims at eliminating bribery and spreading information on Cambodia’s 2010 Anti-Corruption Law. He said signing the MoU would make it easier and faster for his association’s members to work toward these goals.

“Our association has many members so there is more possibility to spread the message about the law against corruption to students and universities,” Monisetha said.

“Not only the association, but all institutions throughout the country, should know more about the law against corruption,” he added.

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said firms that sign the MoU stand to benefit from closer ties with the ACU, which can provide additional protection and prevent corrupt officials from extorting money from these businesses.

“The companies send a message to the public that they cannot commit corrupt acts, meaning that corrupt officials who used to ask for money earlier cannot do it anymore,” Kol said.

The ACU has now signed MoUs with 23 private companies, including Cambodia Beverage Company and Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (PPSEZ).

While the ACU does not divulge the details of these MoUs, they are primarily aimed at preventing illicit payments to government officials and creating a clean and transparent business environment.

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