The government has introduced the National Strategic Development Plan 2019-23 which will focus on increasing awareness and reinforcing precautionary measures and strategies to crack down and combat corruption.
The strategies come in conjunction with the increasing need for ministries and institutions to collaborate with the public and private sector, particularly educational institutions, where cases of corruption are rampant.
The plan, which was signed by King Norodom Sihamoni last year, covers six priority tasks.
They include increasing precautionary measures and legal action under the anti-corruption framework, expanding the dissemination of information on public services, legal standard letters and documents involving national policies.
The plan also calls on the public to partake in policy development and involves feedback and complaints from service users which must be addressed. This includes examining the possibility of using information technology to support policy implementation.
Strengthening the inspection and auditing mechanisms in the public sector is also part of the plan, as is the application of occupational ethics and good governance which must be reinforced and observed by public officials.
The National Strategic Development Plan says: “To adopt the plan, the Anti-Corruption Unit [ACU], Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection, and the Ministry of Civil Service are to strengthen anti-corruption measures and continue to develop the scope of law enforcement.
“Education, aimed at promoting the fight against corruption, must be furthered in institutions for higher education and vocational training.
“The ministries will galvanise participation to fight corruption and continue to urge the preparation of forums to supplement the propagation of awareness against the crime.
“Strengthening the integrity of governance in public and private institutions is the key to stopping corruption. The ministries will continue to urge the adoption of this plan and create new joint initiatives to aid the fight against corruption.
“The ministries aim to strengthen the efficiency of providing public services to boost the government’s credibility. They have to adopt the plan by participating in checking, revising and introducing joint prakas on public service provision.”
Educational institutions and others susceptible to corruption must also expand their scope of declaring assets and debts.
“To achieve the goals of this plan, the ministries have introduced the policy of promoting good governance by educating officials, warning them against inaction and boosting accountability, efficiency and the enforcement of the rule of law,” said the plan.
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport spokesman Ros Soveacha said having received the letter dated April 4, 2014, from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the ministry had actively collaborated with the ACU to prepare learning materials that promote “education on corruption”.
“Grade 10-12 levels have adopted this programme since academic year 2014-15. It was implemented the following academic year at Grade 7-9 levels and Grade 4-6 in academic year 2016-17. The ministry has now implemented it fully in all study levels,” he said.
Transparency International (Cambodia) senior programme director Pech Pisey welcomed the national plan, saying it will help promote social integrity and reduce corruption in Cambodia.
“I think it is a good strategy. We have collaborated with the ACU and the ministry in the past to launch study programmes related to the promotion of social integrity and the fight against corruption.
“In our country, the people are required to learn more about the negative impact that stems from corruption in the society,” he said.
ACU chief Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment by press time.