Civil servants who currently hold multiple jobs have been told to choose the position they wish to keep in the latest attempt by the government to end the phenomenon of “ghost workers”.
A Ministry of Interior memorandum signed by Secretary of State Sok Setha, dated Thursday, urges government employees to follow new rules on ghost workers instituted under a royal decree passed last October.
“Civil servants are not allowed to hold more than one permanent position, in the same ministry or other institutions,” the letter states.
“Institution heads must instruct their subordinate officers, who are working in more than one position, to choose between them,” the letter continues.
The problem of ghost workers – government employees who are listed on the payroll but do not work – has become a key political issue since the 2013 general election.
Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, declined to comment.
In December, an Anti-Corruption Unit official said the body would begin arresting the heads of departments found to be harbouring ghost workers in their ranks. Ministers, however, would be exempt, he said at the time.
Am Sam Ath, a senior investigator at rights group Licadho, said while the letter was a “good sign”, it would remain to be seen whether the government would “practice what they preach”.