A RECENT survey of government transparency ranked Cambodia among the worst-performing countries evaluated, finding that the government provides "scant or no information" about its spending.
The Washington-based International Budget Partnership (IBP), which published the survey Saturday, found that nearly 50 percent of the 85 countries it researched "provide such minimal information that they are able to hide unpopular, wasteful and corrupt spending".
Cheam Yeap, chairman of the National Assembly's Special Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audits, said the results did not
necessarily point to corruption, which he said had been largely rooted out in recent years.
"We believe some high-ranking officials in the past were corrupt and spent the national budget wastefully, but our government has made efforts to address this," he said.
He said "many high-ranking" officials had been fired for such transgressions by Prime Minister Hun Sen, but he declined to name any.
But Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said such claims of reform had been made in the past and had rarely yielded results, adding that increased transparency could help prevent the loss of "hundreds of millions of dollars" to corrupt officials each year.
Five African countries ranked at the bottom of the IBP list: Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome e Principe.