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Information official asks for big boost to budget

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith speaks at a meeting at the Ministry of Information in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith speaks at a meeting at the Ministry of Information in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

Information official asks for big boost to budget

The department of information and broadcasting under the Ministry of Information is facing hurdles in fulfilling its work effectively because it lacks expertise and funding, according to a new internal report released yesterday.

Budget constraints have prompted department officials to ask Minister Khieu Kanharith to urge the government to more than double the ministry’s budget.

Phos Sovann, director of the ministry’s department of information and broadcasting, said his department didn’t have the budget and equipment necessary to meet the goals that have been set for it.

“From this year onward, I’ve asked [Kanaharith] to increase the budget for the Ministry of Information, which right now is at $15 million per year, to $40 million per year, so that we can develop and reform our broadcasting system,” he said.

Kanharith didn’t respond to requests to increase budgets, but did make a slightly more modest commitment to buy new chairs and computers for state news agency AKP.

He also acknowledged the ministry was understaffed, saying it was preparing to recruit 71 new employees.

The internal report also noted that the ministry lacks training in digital broadcasting expertise. Ministry spokesman Ouk Kimseng said training would be provided to employees across the country, but declined to comment on any budget increases.

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