Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Justice officials briefed on asset declaration process

Justice officials briefed on asset declaration process

Justice officials briefed on asset declaration process

THE Ministry of Justice held a meeting yesterday on the ambitious asset declaration programme that will be conducted by the Anticorruption Unit over the next two months, providing officials with a 16-page, seven-point declaration form for submission to the ACU.

The form provides separate pages for declarations of assets in the following categories: Real estate, vehicles, property such as jewellery worth more than 4 million riel (US$1,000) that can be easily exchanged for cash, business interests, debts and income. ACU staff say roughly 100,000 government officials, including the Prime Minister, are expected to submit the asset declaration forms by the end of next month.

Observers have criticised the declaration regulations because they do not require officials to include assets of spouses and family members, nor details of personal bank accounts.

In the declaration form, the ACU offers officials the chance to make  “optional” declarations of their banking and financial details.

“Not declaring money in the bank is the same as declaring it, because the bank is a legal place to keep money,” the form reads. “For money declared that is kept outside the bank, it will be useful as legal evidence ... during inquiries from the Anticorruption Unit.”

Ith Rady, an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, said in yesterday’s presentation that while the declaration of bank details was optional, government officials would “face judgment if it is discovered that they haven’t declared their assets or they have made false declarations”.

Ith Rady said roughly 900 Ministry of Justice officials, including secretaries of state, judges and court clerks, are required to take part in the declaration process.

Kheang Seng, the ACU’s head of law enforcement, said that officials in all 24 of the Kingdom’s provinces had already been advised on the declaration process, and that only a few more ministries needed to be briefed on the subject.

During a meeting last week in Kampong Thom province, ACU head Om Yentieng reportedly identified officials by name, including Kampong Thom Provincial Governor Chhun Chhorn, who he said were “black-listed” and under investigation by the ACU for taking bribes from illegal loggers, according to a police official who attended the meeting. 

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SAM RITH

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures