Proleung Khmer

Friday, December 29, 2006


Cambodia was ranked 130 in the 2005 Corruption Perception Index published by Transparency International, where a list of 158 countries was outlined and the least corrupt one was placed first.

Cambodia established the Anti-Corruption Authority (ACA) earlier this year, but so far corruption is still rampant.


  • NGOs urge Government to pass Anti-corruption law

    The draft of the long-awaited anti-corruption law is still with the Council of Ministers after being already revised by the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relation, and Inspection (MoNASRI). More than 30 NGOs conducted campaign of the “Clean Hand Treaty” petition since November 2005 and presented an anti-corruption petition of 179,000 signatures from citizens at the Council of Minister in order to call for reform of the passage of the long-stalled anti-corruption law, the establishment of an independent anti-corruption body and protection for private citizens who expose corruption.

    In the effort to have an Anti-corruption law in Cambodia since 1994 which government stated that the passing an international standard anti-corruption law is a very high priority in its Rectangular Strategy for growth.

    Hun Sen’s speech at Opening Remarks at the National Conference on Strengthening Good Government for Poverty Reduction and Development on December 14, 2004. He said that “To combat corruption, we have to formulate a well and flawless law as well as establish a mechanism to monitor corruption in order to ensure that the enforcement will result in fruitful outcomes through minimized as much as possible opportunities to engage in corruption, an encouraging public scrutiny especially through media that are professional and highly accountable. Therefore, we should continue to work carefully with all partners concerned in accordance with the existing rule of law. (Fighting Corruption in Cambodia, July 2005)

    By the way, the NGOs also urged the National Assembly to revise the draft of the long-awaited anti-corruption law to ensure that it meets international standards. The NGOs said that the anti-corruption law does not comply with international standards and it appears strong but is in fact powerless. The NGOs added that the law should also include clearly defined measures to protect witnesses and victims of corruption, and requires all government officials to publicly declare their assets.

    H.E Sok An, deputy Prime minister and minister of the Council of Ministers said at the Consultative Group Meeting on December 6, 2004 that “Our action against corruption must be coherent. Passing the law, for instance, is one of many necessary conditions to reducing this scourge. We shall also develop capacity to enforce. The Royal Government is looking forward to articulating a strategy and a program to fight corruption pulling together efforts now underway on a broad front from the Administrative Reform to the reform of public finances and sectoral reforms such as the management of natural resources (land, forestry and fisheries)”. (Fighting Corruption in Cambodia, July 2005)

    According to Transparency International’s 12th annual corruption perception index, Cambodia is ranked 151 of 163 countries, which defines corruption as “the abuse of public office for private gain”.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 PM  

  • From extortion and nepotism to bribery and graft, corruption pervades almost every aspect of Cambodian life, a recent study has reported.

    Transparency International and the Center for Social Development (CSD) released a National Integrity Systems (NIS) study of Cambodia on December 19 that provided a grim assessment of the systemic scale of the country's notorious corruption.

    The study said that despite signs of the government's will to tackle the issue, a decade of political peace and billions of dollars in aid have not adequately strengthened the mechanisms needed to prevent it. Such systems are still weak and lack the capacity to carry out their functions properly, the report states.

    Corrupt practices take many different forms: from low-level informal payments for basic public services such as medical care, school grades, and court verdicts, to high-level "big-ticket" cases.

    Everyday forms of corruption have become so prevalent that households acknowledge them as routine. Although no Cambodian regarded paying bribes as fair or acceptable, citizens feel they lack sufficient power to confront or change the system, the study states.

    High-level corruption, which can take the form of financial aid diversion through various ministries and levels of government, is most difficult to quantify, according to the study. Another area of major concern is the overlap between private-sector business and the country's political elite.

    "[Privatization] has led to the control of many state-owned enterprises and land concessions being granted to prominent politicians," the study read. "According to a recent study 'Since the 1980s, 20 to 30 percent of the country's land, the main source of its wealth, has passed into the hands of less than one percent of the population.'"

    The study made a number of recommendations intended to remedy the situation. Of primary importance is the enactment and implementation of an anti-corruption law that complies with internationally accepted standards.

    The government has been dotting the i's and crossing the t's on a draft anti-corruption law since 1994.

    Other key measures cited were judicial reform, the introduction of a freedom of information law, and the reform and strengthening of existing anti-corruption bodies or their dissolution into the Supreme National Council against Corruption - a national-level anti-corruption body that would be established through the anti-corruption law.

    The study concluded that Cambodia's overall "integrity system" is quite weak with corrupt, protectionist structures well-established within government systems. Checks and balances are largely ignored and mechanisms for oversight are controlled, at least financially, by the executive branch and lack the capacity to perform their functions. Changing this will be difficult, the study said, and will require concerted effort from the government, international donors, and civil society.

    "There is little to motivate a ruling party with a powerful top leadership to reform a system that works largely in their favor apart from imposing substantive costs," the study stated. "Donors are the only real players with this kind of leverage and need to take a more stringent approach when dealing with the government."

    The NIS Study of Cambodia is part of a regional project to analyze the integrity systems in East and South East Asia. The concept of the NIS has been developed and promoted by Transparency International as part of their broader global approach to combating corruption.

    While no blueprint for an effective system to prevent corruption exists, there is a growing international consensus as to the salient institutional features that work best to prevent corruption and promote integrity, TI wrote in a press release December 19.

    The country studies draw on an in-depth assessment of the quality of institutions relevant to anti-corruption. Such organizations, laws and practices are analyzed for their contributions to integrity, transparency and accountability and the extent to which they function.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:15 AM  

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