Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia’s budget process slightly more transparent, but issues remain: report




Cambodia’s budget process slightly more transparent, but issues remain: report

National Assembly members vote in favour of the Kingdom’s budget for 2018 last year in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
National Assembly members vote in favour of the Kingdom’s budget for 2018 last year in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Cambodia’s budget process slightly more transparent, but issues remain: report

Cambodia’s budget process was slightly more transparent last year than in previous years, according to a new report, though scant information is provided to the public over the course of the budget process, with few opportunities for public engagement and limited oversight in its creation.

The International Budget Partnership's 2017 Open Budget Survey, released earlier this month, looked at the budget processes of 115 countries, rating them from 0 to 100 for transparency, public participation and budget oversight.

The Kingdom’s score improved to 20 for transparency, up from 8 in the last survey in 2015, placing it ahead of Vietnam (15) and below Timor Leste (40) within the region. However it lags far below the global average of 42.

To improve, the report notes, the government should expand coverage of the auditing process to include all government expenditures.

In public participation, the country scored a 4, regionally ahead only of Myanmar’s score of 0, while for oversight it scored a 55. According to the report, the legislature “provides limited oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and weak oversight during the implementation stage” and recommends the establishment of an independent fiscal institution for oversight.

Transparency International’s country director Preap Kol noted in an email the improvement was due to government’s financial management reform, supported by European Union and Swedish (SIDA) development funding. Publishing more budget information online, and including civil society and public consultation in the budget process, would improve the country’s score, he said.

“It would be of greatest improvement if the Government could publicise detailed budget planning as well as expenditures reports of all ministr[ies] individually,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,