Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New NGO law should be welcomed, not feared, to improve transparency



New NGO law should be welcomed, not feared, to improve transparency

New NGO law should be welcomed, not feared, to improve transparency

Dear Editor,

I agree with the Prime Minister's recent calls for greater transparency amongst NGOs operating in Cambodia, as an integral part of any forthcoming NGO law.

Any measure of greater transparency in operational aspects of both local and international NGOs in Cambodia - and in other LDC's around the world, for that matter - can only be constructive. It will reduce organizations' inefficiencies, increase accountability and will give greater credence to those organizations who are already operating in an effective and reasonable way.

Cambodia is home to one of the greatest densities of NGOs in the world. Given that one fundamental task of any nongovernmental organization is to promote and cultivate a functioning civil society, any evolution towards an environment of greater transparency should be lauded, not feared or resisted, by NGOs acting in this particular civil society.

This trend towards transparency is not limited to NGOs in Cambodia. As donor budgets around the world have become stretched, various resources have emerged that are designed to increase the transparency of nonprofit groups' operations (financial and otherwise) in order to ensure that donor and individual funding sources are effectively, wisely, and ethically spent.

For example, Guidestar.com, a website and database designed to provide financial information for US-based nonprofits and NGOs, exhibits organizations' staff salaries and other financial data openly and publicly, as per US law governing such groups (via downloadable PDFs of their tax returns)

US-based NGOs who are currently operating in Cambodia already exhibit some of their financial data, including key staff salaries, on the Guidestar.com website; that data, which is available to the general public, can be interesting and illuminating.

I suggest that a resource based on the Guidestar.com model, but tailored towards NGOs working in Cambodia, could feature the financial data of all local and international NGOs working here (staff salaries, funding sources, money spent, sustainable revenue generated, project reports) in a way that is accessible to the general public, Cambodian and foreigner alike.

The result will be an increased transparency in all directions, and a better ability for donors, potential donors and the Cambodian government to identify operational strengths and weaknesses of NGOs working here.

All of this information could therefore be an effective compliment to the eventual NGO law coming to Cambodia.

Jason Rosette

CAMERADO

Send letters to: [email protected] or P.O.鈥圔ox 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • PM dispels lockdown rumours, gifts masks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on November 12 denied rumours that he will lock down the country in response to increased Covid-19 fears, referring to them as propaganda aimed at destabilising the country. In a Facebook post, he said some people had spread rumours that the government

  • SilkAir adds flight to Phnom Penh schedule

    Silkair (Singapore) Pte Ltd is increasing its flight frequency between Phnom Penh and Singapore with a third weekly flight on Saturdays, according to Cambodia Airports’ Facebook page. The other flights offered are on Tuesdays and Sundays, with an estimated Phnom Penh arrival time at 5:35pm