Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: Sub-national level budgets to be paid via bank to stop corruption

Sar Kheng: Sub-national level budgets to be paid via bank to stop corruption

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said the state would allocate around $800 million for sub-national administrations, which will be paid via the bank to prevent corruption and ensure transparency. SAR KHENG VIA FACEBOOK

Sar Kheng: Sub-national level budgets to be paid via bank to stop corruption

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng announced on Tuesday that the budgets for sub-national administrations next year will be paid via the bank to prevent corruption and ensure transparency. He also warned officials not to abuse power for personal gain.

Sar Kheng was speaking at the launch of the implementation of the “Sub-decree on Functions and Structures of Town and District Administration” and the “Sub-decree on Delegation of Management Functions and Provision of Health Service to Municipal and Provincial Administrations”.

Almost 1,000 participants, including members of the Senate and National Assembly, representatives of ministries, government institutions, sub-national administrations and development partners, as well as members of the private sector and civil society organisations, attended the launch at the Ministry of Interior.

Sar Kheng said that according to estimates for next year, the state would allocate around $800 million for sub-national administrations.

This would not include the budget the state allocated to each municipal, provincial, town and district administrations, which would still be transferred to them.

He said with the additional budget from the Ministry of Economy and Finance to be transferred directly to sub-national administrations, funding for local government for next year could rise to $1 billion.

“While we are pleased to allocate the budget, we are also concerned that it could be spent carelessly, leading to problems. The budget will be paid into a bank account, and if the money runs out without any significant achievements, there will be no more.

“We have to speak clearly of this in advance. When the budget is received, it must not be spent carelessly. There must be careful thought as to what it should be spent on, and transparency for those at the local level must be ensured,” Sar Kheng said.

The interior minister said decentralisation aimed to transfer the power, functions and resources of government to sub-national administrations, with them responsible for public services and development.

This was to bring local government closer to the people to respond to their needs in a timely, effective, transparent, accountable, inclusive and equitable manner while increasing resources and the participation of communities in local development.

Meanwhile, he also told sub-national officials that they must not conspire to transfer positions. He stressed that power must not be abused for personal gain, and warned that the ministry would take legal action against anyone found doing so.

“Authorities must not behave like this or people will say power has been abused,” Sar Kheng said.

Pich Pisey, the programme director of Transparency International Cambodia, welcomed the measures by the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development (NCDD).

“When a budget, salaries or other expenses are received via a banking system, it can better ensure transparency than when it is paid in cash, so this is a good step. However, when the money is withdrawn from the bank, what mechanisms are to be used to monitor it after that?” Pisey asked.

He said measures should be brought in to tackle any abuse of power.

“Abuse of power generally takes place when national and sub-national officials acted in their interests. It is a form of corruption and the ministry should have measures to prevent it.

“These are steps that we welcome, but ideas and appeals are not enough. There must be the creation of mechanisms to monitor officials to stop them from abusing their power,” Pisey said.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused