The National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD) is preparing a draft sub-decree on the transfer of the state budget to town, district and commune funds from 2024-2028.
Ahead of the 21st meeting of the NCDD on May 2, Minister of Interior and NCDD chairman Sar Kheng said the main principles of the fund transfer would be discussed in depth.
The ministry quoted Sar Kheng as saying that an inter-ministerial working group had worked with the NCDD to assess the transfer of funding and prepared a report on their findings.
“This was an important step in the process of drafting the sub-decree,” he said.
The ministry said that during the meeting, the NCDD adopted the first phase of a five-year plan document (2021-2025), and enacted the 2023 action plan and budget.
Sar Kheng explained that the NCDD intended to ask Prime Minister Hun Sen for permission to add another four members to the NCDD: Minister of Public Works and Transport; minister of Post and Telecommunications; minister of Water Resources and Meteorology; and minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation.
Cambodian Institute for Democracy president Pa Chanroeun said the government has successfully implemented a number of decentralisation and deconcentration policies – which delegate power to the sub-national level – but he said a few challenges remain, particularly surrounding budgets.
“Preparations for the draft sub-decree are good for the sub-national level. They need to establish funding streams to administer their local projects.
“However, it is very important that the interior ministry establish mechanisms to manage and distribute funds. It must also monitor spending closely to ensure that the expenditure process is transparent and efficient,” he concluded.