Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 17 December, 2004

The Gecko: 17 December, 2004

The Gecko: 17 December, 2004

During

the CG meetings there was a lot of back and forth between government officials and

donors. One senior minister, when explaining why the new government had taken one

year to form, said it was the donors fault as they had not pushed the various parties

hard enough to come to a deal.

** With all the talk about fighting corruption, one bureaucracy watcher says the

inevitable has already happened. With the addition of so many new Secretaries of

State to the government, the number of forms required to get permission to do anything

has started to increase. One source says that it used to take two forms to register

an association but it now takes six.

** An Inter Press Service news story from Paris reported the following on December

14: "...The World Bank announced sanctions last month against the French firm

Thales Engineering and Consulting (THEC) and one of its leading executives Jeremy

Purce for 'fraudulent practices in relation to ... the Cambodia demobilization and

reintegration project.' The 6.9 million dollar World Bank project was set up to assist

the demobilization of about 30,000 soldiers and their reintegration into civilian

life. The French firm was barred on the basis of 'multiple misrepresentations of

fact' from the company, the World Bank said. 'Reliance upon these misrepresentations

of facts led to an inappropriate contract award to the winning bidder.'"

** A whole bunch of noses are bent out of shape as a result of a recent short list

announcement on a construction contract being offered by the Ministry of Industry,

Mines & Energy. The U.S. corporation Caterpillar did not pass muster as the Ministry

said it "did not have the financial wherewithal to compete," according

to one informed source. Two local companies that did make the short list have as

their claim to fame their ability to run casinos.

** A great mystery has finally been resolved. One Cambodian woman says she knows

why barangs have so many freckles and moles. It's because they eat too much food

out of a refrigerator without heating it up first.

** Best wishes to British Ambassador Stephen Bridges and his wife Kim as they head

for Bangladesh. Bridges revealed at his farewell party why he is not retiring yet

to his beachside villa in Phuket. During his tenure here in the Kingdom, he lost

too much money to Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh playing golf.

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