The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has issued an urgent reminder for all officials required by law to declare their assets and liabilities. The prompt comes as the deadline for submission is fast approaching.

Officials who are obligated include civil servants, military police and public officials appointed by royal decree or sub-decree. These individuals must disclose their balance sheet items no later than 30 days from their appointment or resignation, as per the stipulation of the ACU.

ACU spokesman Soy Chanvichet, confirmed on September 26 that the process was proceeding smoothly, with the unit receiving submissions on an annual and biennial basis.

“The law does not permit the ACU to delay the receipt of asset statements. If an obligated individual submits later than 30 days, that person can face penalties under Article 38 of the Anti-Corruption Law,” he stated.

However, Chanvichet also noted that the ACU had yet to receive any documents from 315 officials across various ministries. He highlighted past difficulties encountered by the ACU, such as late document arrivals from abroad and issues contacting the focal point of a ministry.

According to Article 38, individuals who fail to declare or incorrectly declare assets and liabilities are subject to one month to one year of imprisonment, a fine of 100,000 to 2 million riel and will be mandated to report assets to the ACU. Refusal to disclose holdings will incur double the penalty.

Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, emphasised the importance of these declarations in ensuring the openness and accountability of officials to the public. Pisey observed that the process has generally been smooth and effective, crediting the ACU for driving this mechanism efficiently.

“I believe the government should review and amend the asset reporting process to make it public, allowing people access to this information,” Pisey added.