CIVIL servants are to be subjected to a daily muster count to weed out "ghost"
staff whose salaries are being pocketed by others.
throughout Cambodia will be restricted to their buildings for two hours every
morning for a head-count, Minister of Finance Keat Chhon told the National
Assembly on Dec 29.
The measure, to being on Feb 7 and stay in force
indefinitely, was aimed at cracking down on government staff claiming more than
one salary under different names - and even different ministeries.
Chhon said the government would lay criminal charges against people who
contributed to the problem by producing and selling false identification
"I warn that those who process fraudulent documents and ID cards
hastily withdraw them selves before they can be arrested."
Chhon said he
believes the measures could reduce the estimated more than 10,000 "ghosts"
within the civil service.
Meanwhile, the government is also planing to
cut the number of employees in line with an agreement with the International
About 20 per cent of the country's 143,855 claimed civil
servants would be axed by 1997, Keat Chhon said. The armed forces would also be
reduced from 130,000 to 90,000.
The Health and Education ministeries
would be exempt from the staff cutting, as they needed to expand their services
to rural areas.
Keat Chhon said raising government salaries-which range
from about $12 to $30 a month-might be possible in the future.
"Unless the number of civil servants is reduced, their salary cannot be
increased. But raises will still depend on [government] income which relies on
work efficiency as well."
The shedding of a quarter of Cambodia's civil
servants is designed to make the bureaucracy less unwieldy.