Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officials declare assets, debts

Officials declare assets, debts

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The ACU issued a notice on October 17, last year, to nearly 50 ministries and institutions in the capital and provinces, reminding officials that they were obliged to declare their assets and debts between January 1 and 30. Heng Chivoan

Officials declare assets, debts

As of January 4, nearly 8,000 of some 20,000 government officials have declared their assets and debts and submitted the relevant documents to the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU).

This follows an ACU notice on October 17, last year, to nearly 50 ministries and institutions in the capital and provinces, reminding officials that they were obliged to declare their assets and debts between January 1 and 30.

And in a notice on January 4, this year, the ACU said that in principle, those who declared their assets and debts in 2018 have to re-declare them every two years.

“On Saturday, January 4, the asset and debt declaration department received documents from 69 officials. As of January 4, a total of 7,791 officials have filed their asset and debt declaration documents,” the notice said.

Khoy Limhong, the assistant to the ACU, told The Post on Sunday that it has only been five days since the notice was issued, but the figures reflect the fact that some officials had declared their assets and debts much earlier.

He said the department had been receiving the documents since December last year. This year, he said, least 20,000 officials are obliged to declare their assets and debts.

“Some officials are very busy this month. Some others have the initiative of declaring them before the deadline. So, more than 5,000 came forward to declare their assets and debts before January 1,” he said.

Limhong said according to the anti-corruption laws, government officials who ranged from department directors and above and whose appointment was made by a sub-decree or royal decree are obliged to declare their assets and debts.

Members of the armed forces – from colonel and above – are also obliged to do the same.

Likewise, he said the law also requires commune and district council members to declare debts and assets when summoned by the ACU, especially when suspicions of corrupt practices are raised.

Meas Sophorn, the spokesman for the Ministry of Information whose officials are required to make their declarations in the first week of January, told The Post on Sunday that they had done so as dictated by law.

He said the declaration was necessary and also encouraged by the ministry, as well as it is a step towards stopping corruption.

“All officials from the Ministry of Information who are obliged to do so have adhered to the formalities. I have already declared my assets and debts,” he said.

The anti-corruption laws also spell out that anyone who failed to declare their assets and debts according to the deadline could face fines and imprisonment ranging from one month to a year.

Limhong said that no one had so far been fined or jailed as those who failed to make their declarations in time had informed the ACU and provided good reasons for not meeting the deadline.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said the anti-corruption laws still had loopholes. As asset and debt declarations are being made in confidence, he called for the terms and conditions of the law to be re-examined so that declaration becomes public.

He further said the declaration was only a mechanism that had been set up according to the law. But other offences involving corruption were mostly in the form of abuse of power and forest crimes which continued to occur.

“We want to see asset declaration made public by amending the anti-corruption laws,” he said.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does