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Council gives graft report input

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Anti-corruption Unit head Om Yentieng. Photo supplied

Council gives graft report input

The Supreme Council for Consultation has provided inputs on a self-evaluation draft report based on a review by the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The draft report and three other draft laws would be submitted to the Council of Ministers, chaired by Prime Minister Hun Sen for discussions.

The drafts include one on construction, a draft document on a three-year public investment 2020-2022 programme, a round-two self-evaluation draft report on UNCAC, and the discussion of proposals requested for approval from the Council of Ministers before being submitted to the legislative body for approval.

An Anti-Corruption Unit’s (ACU) press release said the preparation of a self-evaluation report on UNCAC was an indispensable part of the process of review and implementation of UNCAC.

Cambodia as a state is obliged to participate as a party to the UNCAC evaluation and submit a report, just as another 172 countries have to.

UNCAC reports will also be used as a basis for the UN and experts from two other states drawing lots to review the implementation of UNCAC in Cambodia.

Experts chosen through the draw of lots will study, analyse, assess and provide recommendations to the government to consider and implement them in line with Cambodian law and the current context of the Kingdom.

This is the second time that Cambodia has prepared such a report. During its first experience in 2014, a 300-page Khmer and English language report which was ultimately submitted to the UN focused on three main points, such as corruption offences and their legal applications as well as international cooperation with UNCAC.

Om Yentieng, the chief of the ACU which is the institution preparing the draft report, could not be reached for comment.

Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung said on Tuesday that the Supreme Council of Consultation had held a consultative meeting with ACU on the draft report at the Peace Palace.

KRP members of the Supreme Council for Consultation had assessed the draft reports and expressed hope that the ACU would cooperate closely with the institution in terms of its findings involving corruption, he said.

“Members of the Supreme Council for Consultation from our party also offered inputs by summarising measures to prevent, protect, stop and deal with corruption among ACU officials as well,” he said.

International Transparency’s 2018 category reports of nearly 200 countries and Transparency International’s 2018 global Corruption Perceptions Index said that Cambodia had received only 20 points out of a maximum of 100 points – a decrease of one point compared to last year.

The decline ranked the Kingdom at 161 out of 180 countries to be assessed.

Cambodia-based Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said he could not make any assessments of the draft report since he has not received them in full.

However, he said corruption and governance problems in some sectors still existed and need to be solved. They include corruption issues at the borders related to forest crimes, nepotism and graft in some institutions.

Chey said that Cambodia must prepare the report in response to the UN focusing on corruption issues in the Cambodian context. But the results depended on the country in question.

“Such reports are focused on standard indicators which the UN has proposed for member states. At a particular level of a country, it needs to raise the standard and application in line with the regional or global principles,” he said.