Three ministries jointly issued a prakas to announce the recruitment of a commune administrative financial assistant for each of the more than 1,600 communes across the country to improve the efficiency of financial management in commune administration.

According to the parkas – issued by the ministries of Economy and Finance; Interior; and Civil Service – the commune administrative financial assistant will be a staff position outside of the state employment framework but in accordance with article 29 of the Law on Commune Administration.

The inter-ministerial prakas states that each commune administration must have one financial assistant who must be a Cambodian at least 18 years old and a high school graduate with basic knowledge of finance and accounting.

Priority will be given to applicants who are living in the commune where they are applying for the position and those who have work experience in the public or private sector using relevant skills or having certificates of training in public finance management. Additional consideration is given to those who are female, people with disabilities and indigenous peoples.

The candidate will take an exam and other procedures such as an interview. Once they are selected as the commune administrative finance assistant, they will be in charge of dealing with the financial planning and expenses, management, monitoring and finance reporting for their commune.

The assistant will receive a monthly salary of one million riel ($250) and other benefits guaranteed by the annual budget of the commune administration.

The salary may be increased according to the budget capacity of the commune administration and through an inter-ministerial prakas by the finance, interior, and civil service ministries.

The assistant can terminate the contract without penalty by notifying the commune chief and submitting a written resignation 30 days in advance.

Pech Pisey, the executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, supported the creation of this position, saying human resources in the financial departments of sub-national administrations are still lacking.

“What we want to encourage more is the sub-national level having more professional capacity with a workforce of officials who have undergone training in finances and so forth, especially for this job,” he said.

Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun said it was good to have a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of the financial staff members in the commune administration.

Clear roles and responsibilities help improve the efficiency of work management related to finances, making it more transparent and accountable as well as improving the governance process at the commune level.