Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Inquiry ordered into tardy police bonuses



Inquiry ordered into tardy police bonuses

A traffic police officer questions a motorist under the watchful eye of his colleague after they pulled the vehicle over on a street in central Phnom Penh last year.
A traffic police officer questions a motorist under the watchful eye of his colleague after they pulled the vehicle over on a street in central Phnom Penh last year. Vireak Mai

Inquiry ordered into tardy police bonuses

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday chided ministry officials over the disbursement of traffic police bonuses and announced a probe into the issue in a speech to mark the National Police’s 71st anniversary.

The bonuses, which are paid out every three months by provincial departments, were not being handed out in a timely or complete manner, Kheng told officials at the ministry.

“Now it is May 16, and they are more than a month overdue and yet written reports say they had given [the bonuses] out but the money did not reach [officers],” the minister said.

Alleging that provincial police chiefs were signing documents stating the bonuses had been paid when in fact they had not, Kheng announced an investigation into the matter.

“We need to do it seriously . . . Now I order an audit to go check the provinces because it is very easy that the provincial police chiefs report that they already [paid the bonuses],” he said.

Kheng went on to say that traffic police officers must have personal bank accounts with which to receive their payments, and impropriety found among officials would be met with punishment.

“[Provincial officials] that do not do it properly, they will not get their bonuses or be promoted in rank, and they will also be fined and demoted.”

San Chey, of government accountability NGO ANSA-EAP, in a phone interview yesterday said such an audit should be carried out without prior announcement.

“It is giving a sign to the traffic police chiefs to prepare for it,” he said. Moreover, Chey said, it was too late for Kheng to say he would punish provincial officials for the late payments and that ANSA had previously warned that provincial police chiefs were unlikely to make the payments on time.

Transparency International director Preap Kol said in an email that the “problem is not new . . . and should have been prevented if the Government have learned the past lessons”.

“There are many ways to tackle this problem,” he said offering up a recommendation in line with Kheng’s instruction to have payments disbursed into civil servant’s bank accounts.

“One of the best ways would be to use the local banking system in parallel to the payroll which the Government has already activated. This allows proper and systematic account records for verification and audit as needed.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and