The Ministry of Inspection and the Asian Foundation in Cambodia are examining the possibility signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen their future cooperation. Both sides have agreed to assign technical teams to hold further detailed discussions.

Minister of Inspection Huot Hak met with the Asia Foundation’s country representative Meloney Lindberg in Phnom Penh on November 17, according to a ministry press release.

During the meeting, Lindberg was briefed on the current political situation in Cambodia. Hak explained that the overall landscape has improved, and the situation is conducive to development and attracting investment.

“Our main mission is to respond to the political programmes of the seventh-mandate government. That’s why the government had changed the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspections to the Ministry of Inspection. We are focused on reforms, strengthening governance and modernising state institutions, in order to make public administrations more competent, stronger, smarter and unblemished,” he added. 

He outlined the ministry’s four- point plan, which intends to strengthen state institutions, develop human capital, draw up key legal documents and harmonise the ministry.

Lindberg thanked the minister for meeting with her in person, and noted that the meeting gave her the opportunity to share the plans and activities that are being implemented by her organisation, as well as its goals, according to the press release.

Both sides agreed to examine the possibility of signing a MoU to strengthen cooperation in the near future. The foundation announced its commitment to further strengthening its existing collaboration with the ministry’s National Institute of Inspection.

The minister could not be reached for comment on November 19. 

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, supported the potential collaboration, noting that it would improve good governance, and adding that Cambodia has many institutions which are working to strengthen inspections, with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) a notable example.

“In Cambodia, the key duty of inspections officials is to improve professionalism and the laws and procedures that are in place. It is especially crucial that civil servants and police officers obey the law, and act with transparency and integrity,” he added. 

He cautioned that despite efforts to improve the inspections sector, some members of the public still complained of the problem of corruption in Cambodian society. Therefore, the government needed to further bolster the sector, both in terms of legal procedures and overall professionalism.