Ministry of Justice officials held a meeting with other ministries on May 4 to discuss four areas of government reform, including public finance, public administration, sub-national administration and justice.

Justice ministry secretary of state and spokesman Chin Malin said the meeting focused on how the three areas of proposed reforms in public finance, public administration and sub-national administration can go hand in hand with reforms in the judicial sector, calling this process the “3+1 reforms”.

He said in the past, the reforms in the four sectors had been progressing individually. Reform in public finance, public administration, and sub-national administration had worked well together, but not with the inclusion of the judicial sector, though in reality they are intertwined.

“To make all reforms consistent and ensure that they support each other, we decided to name this process the 3+1. That is because the other three related to administration have already been coordinated with each other, but the judicial reforms are different and harder to be made consistent with those three.

“When we talk about the judicial sector, it is related to the court system which is different from the others,” he said.

He said that to make the three other reform areas consistent with the judicial reforms, they needed a mechanism that included information and experience exchange as well as the exchange of documents. When this is achieved, a common strategy will be set forth in the near future.

Pech Pisey, Transparency International Cambodia (TI Cambodia) executive director, said the government reforms had made good progress, but there are still some points that needed more attention and clarification, such as monitoring and evaluating the national budget and other independent institutions tasked with oversight of the reforms.

“The core of reform in all of these sectors are strategic preparation and a clear work structure that effectively prevents corruption and bribery in all sectors.

“Attention should be paid to how to save money with the national budget and how to spend the budget with efficiency, because the overall amount in our national budget is low,” he said.