A Ministry of Rural Development spokesperson claimed the ministry will withdraw state vehicles from officers who continue to use them improperly, such as using them outside working hours.
Minister of Rural Development Ouk Rabun said officers are prohibited from using vehicles that carry government registration plates to visit places such as entertainment centres, KTV and massage parlours outside working hours.
Ministry of Rural Development spokesman Chan Darong told The Post on Sunday that action was being taken to protect state property and that officials had been ordered to use such property correctly.
“The ban on using state vehicles outside of official hours is now effective as the order has been given."
“For the officers who violate the state vehicles, we will talk to them once or twice. If they still don’t listen, we will take away their vehicles,” Darong said.
The statement was signed by Ouk Rabun on December 27. It said the measure intended to increase efficiency in the use of state vehicles, as well as improve the reputation of government officers and entities.
The rules state that all government officials must drive their vehicles properly and follow traffic laws, and that they will not use government vehicles outside of their hours of duty.
While the Ministry of Interior has previously strictly enforced the correct use of government vehicles, Prime Minister Hun Sen recently asked all government officials at all levels to stop using state vehicles for purposes other than assigned government tasks.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said the Ministry of Rural Development’s action will not be effective, adding that the ministry should have taken stricter action to enforce the law.
However, he supported the ministry’s initiative to prevent misuse of government vehicles.
“This is a chronic and long-term problem. It will ruin the reputation of the government if state licence plate cars are used outside of their working hours and not on government business,” he said.
San Chey added that to make sure government vehicles were not used improperly and outside of working hours, the government should implement police controls and reprimand and punish offenders.