101 New Deputy Governors to Ease Authorities’ Workload

Government officials across the country are busy selecting and vetting candidates for a raft of new deputy city and district governor posts intended to ease the burden on local authorities.

A sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 6 calls for 101 new deputy governors in specific cities and districts covering every province and municipality.

“A district that has three [governors] will get one more to make four, and a district with four will get one more to make five,” said Sak Setha, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, which is overseeing the initiative.

Mr Setha said candidates will have to be familiar with the work cities and districts do and meet education and age requirements, though he could not recall what they were as he was away from his office yesterday.

Sy Suon, governor of Stung Treng province’s Siem Pang district, welcomed the plan.

“We have a lot of work here, especially the administrative staff,” he said. “When we get more people, it will help us work smoothly and effectively. We are very busy these days alerting people about floods.”

Pursat provincial governor Khoy Sokha said the extra deputy governors would help connect the upper levels of government to the communities.

“The district level is very busy since they have to work with the lower levels and bring the people’s requests from the communes to the provincial level,” he said. “And when the government implements anything, the district has to bring it to the lower levels and make sure they follow.”

Mr Setha said he could not estimate a cost for filling the 101 positions because each deputy governor’s salary would depend on how many years of experience the successful candidate brings to the job. He added that the Interior Ministry would make an effort to fill some of the posts with women.

Decentralization has been an ongoing effort for the government. However, at a UN-sponsored workshop in Phnom Penh last week, some NGOs said those efforts were moving too slowly.

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