A senoir Cambodia People’s Party (CPP) official has rejected accusations that the appointment of more than 100 advisers is a waste of government money, saying it will in fact boost efficiency.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan’s response was made after strong criticism from civil society organisations who said the appointment of 107 advisers at the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training is a waste of the national budget.
A December 11 royal decree signed by King Norodom Sihamoni saw the ministry receive 21 new appointees occupying positions equivalent to under-secretary, while a further 86 advisers were appointed to positions equivalent to director-general.
Among the newly appointed advisers were union leaders, including Cambodian Union Federation president Chhoun Mom Thol and Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia officials Ken Loo and Kang Monika.
These appointments were made at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
On Thursday, Eysan told The Post that it was the right of the ruling party to appoint new advisers at ministries and institutions.
He said the appointments were made based on the individuals’ qualifications for the role and will serve to boost efficiency, rather than waste the national budget.
“The government of Cambodia has a responsibility to manage the national budget in accordance with budget saving,” he said.
Eysan rejected accusations that the appointments were a waste of money, and emphasised that current government employees who have now been appointed as advisers will not receive an adviser’s salary and a permanent staff salary.
“The accusation made by civil society organisations is baseless. For people who don’t know, please don’t accuse that government of wasting national budgets on appointing advisers,” he said.
However, Affiliated Network for Social Accountability CEO San Chey said the government rushed to appoint too many advisers, saying they would not increase efficiency.
He accused people of using government advisory positions for their own personal benefit.
“We know that there were too many appointments. Even though advisers cannot make decisions, they can give advice that will influence the head of ministries,” he said.
Since the ruling CPP resumed governance in September, they have continued in their push the appointment of new advisers to high ranking positions in government ministries. Since September, 46 new people have been appointed as personal advisers to the prime minister.