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Fees, cops, courts still problem areas: TI

Fees, cops, courts still problem areas: TI

A unit within anti-graft group Transparency International Cambodia (TI) that fields citizens’ complaints about state officials has registered 191 corruption cases since its establishment three years ago, the NGO reported yesterday.

The corruption complaints were among 601 cases logged by TI’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC), which also handles inquiries related to criminal and civil law, land disputes and elections.

In terms of graft, TI executive director Preap Kol said bloated service fees were among the most common complaint given by callers. Kol also singled out the judiciary and police as areas of concern, with the data showing the sectors accounted for 14 percent and 12 percent of complaints, respectively.

“Nothing has improved,” Kol said of the judicial and law enforcement sectors, which consistently rank poorly in the body’s annual corruption index. “We need to have strong government commitment and political will to support concrete and practical strategies to tackle corruption . . . not just rhetoric.”

He said after interviewing complainants and collecting evidence, TI referred about 10 percent of corruption cases to the Anti-Corruption Unit or the National Assembly anti-graft commission. A further 15 percent were forwarded to the relevant authorities. Only a small amount of complaints were “resolved”, with only about five cases seeing legal action taken.

The ACU last week reported that it had experienced a huge drop in corruption complaints, from 1,009 in 2014 to 597 last year, though critics suggested citizens’ lack of faith in the institution accounted for the decrease.

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