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Input on ACU draft legislation weighed

A motorist passes the Anti-Coruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh last year.
A motorist passes the Anti-Coruption Unit headquarters in Phnom Penh last year. Pha Lina

Input on ACU draft legislation weighed

Civil society organisations met yesterday to hash out recommendations for whistleblower and witness-protection laws that the Anti-Corruption Unit aims to pass by year’s end.

Organisations including Transparency International and the Advocacy and Policy Institute (API), among others, discussed who should be protected under whistleblower laws and whether incentives should be given for reporting crimes.

“We want [people reporting] information related to corruption, human trafficking or public health to be protected,” said API’s Phan Barmey. But the organisations’ efforts were hampered by the fact that the ACU has yet to release drafts of either law.

Kol Preap, director of Transparency International Cambodia, said he hoped the ACU would release the drafts soon.

Meanwhile, Barmey expressed concern that the ACU would rush to pass the laws without sufficient time for consultation.

“Time is running out, because the ACU wants to pass this quickly. I think it’s too fast,” he said.

API’s director, Sinthay Neb, meanwhile, expressed concern that the two laws might interfere with the freedom of information law currently being drafted.

“There could be major conflicts between [the laws]. I believe there need to be parallel processes for reviewing all three laws,” Neb said.

Preap, however, was hopeful the ACU would work to ensure the laws are compatible. “We would imagine there will be efforts to ensure consistency among the three drafts,” he said.

The ACU’s Om Yentieng said the laws, still being drafted, will be made public once complete, declining to give a timeframe.

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