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City officials get graft law education

City officials get graft law education

OFFICIALS from the Anticorruption Unit held a workshop yesterday to promote good governance and educate about 400 municipal officials about recently-passed anti-graft legislation.

Speaking to the officials, Om Yentieng, head of the ACU, said the workshop was aimed at fighting corruption through education, prevention and the enforcement of the law.

“I believe that the officials’ understanding of this newly established anti-graft law will result in a strong step forward in the country’s development,” Om Yentieng said.

The officials at the meeting, which included Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema in addition to lower-level municipal officials – were given copies of the anti-graft law and had its contents explained in detail.

The Anticorruption Law was passed by the National Assembly in April as part of the government’s much-publicised drive to crackdown on graft. According to the law, up to 100,000 officials will be obliged to disclose their assets to investigators.

Last week, ACU spokesman Keo Remy announced the body had received 20 corruption complaints in September and October, but could not give further details while the investigations were underway.

At yesterday’s workshop, Kep Chuktema lauded the creation of the new bodies, stating that graft had become “one of the biggest challenges [Cambodia] is facing”.

The law, however, has drawn criticism from opposition lawmakers and civil society groups who said it was rushed through the National Assembly without time for debate or input.

Despite a slight improvement in international graft rankings, Cambodia still faces an uphill battle against corruption.

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2010 ranked Cambodia 154th out of 178 countries for public-sector corruption, a marginal increase on last year’s ranking, which listed Cambodia at 158th.

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