Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New govt appointees given positions but no responsibility

New govt appointees given positions but no responsibility

New govt appointees given positions but no responsibility

The government is larger than ever with about 50 more senior positions

than last time round but some are asking: what are they all doing?

A RAPID post-election increase in the number of government positions has left many newly appointed officials with little to do despite the fact they are now on the payroll.

"Most of the secretaries of state at the Council of Ministers have nothing to do," said a senior official from the Council of Ministers who declined to be named.

"What work have they got to do? They are new officials in new posts. Some of them just do some work for other Cambodian Peoples' Party secretaries of state," he told the Post Tuesday.

In the fourth mandate of Prime Minister Hun Sen's CPP government the size of the executive has increased from 200 secretary of state, minister, senior minister and deputy prime minister positions to 247.

"They have seats but they have nothing to do," the CoM official said.

"Until now, all the work has not been divided us and shared out with them."

The problem has arisen as more official positions have been created and filled, but the original officials are still in their positions and still doing their jobs, he said.

The problem extends from ministerial positions down through under-secretaries of state to deputy provincial governors, he added.

He said that in the CoM there are sixteen secretaries of state some of whom who have no work to do.

"We have a huge number of members of government and some of them must be free. They have seats but they sit and do nothing," said Puthea Hang, the executive director of monitoring organisation, Nicfec.

Too many cooks

"There are a huge number of officials who not only do nothing but are also an obstacle for the Kingdom's ongoing development because of the corruption issues," opposition Sam Rainsy Party law maker Yim Sovann said Tuesday.

"I have never seen any country the same as Cambodia, this is a very strange country," he added.

According to secretary of state and spokesman for the Council of Ministers, Phay Siphan, all secretaries of stateshould be busy working as they have positions with specific  duties attached to them.

"If any secretary of state said that he has no work to do, it means that he is not a secretary of state," Phay Siphan told the Post Tuesday.

He said that duties were being arranged for new positions but acknowledged that some of the new positions have not yet had work responsibilities assigned to them. This had resulted in some  ministers being short on day-to-day work - a problem the government is trying to rectify, he said.

Phay Siphan said every effort was made to ensure that the individual strengths and experiences of newly appointed secretaries of state were used as best they could be for the benefit of the country as a whole.  

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