ACU Accuses Three State Bodies of Malpractice

After being monitored by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) for an unspecified length of time, three state-run bodies have been accused of not following legal requirements in the awarding of contracts, and have been told to fall into line or face punitive action.

In three separate statements posted to the ACU’s website and dated September 9, the government’s anti-graft agency accused the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications’ general department of posts, Telecom Cambodia and the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port of taking on contractors without going through the proper bidding process, among a litany of other instances of malpractice.

Contacted by telephone, ACU chairman Om Yentieng said the statements were a warning to the bodies to correct the improper procedures.

“What is lacking should be fixed,” he said. “If it continues, we will review it. Anyway, the unit doesn’t have the right to do things quickly.”

The ACU claims that all three institutions were guilty of procuring goods—such as gasoline, office equipment, furniture and uniforms—unlawfully and without transparency.

It says that some companies who won a bid with the general department of posts did not have the correct permit or certification, some were not registered with the Commerce Ministry, and some had not placed deposits with the treasury department.

Sim Thy, director of administration at the department, said that he was not aware that the ACU had conducted an investigation.

“We have not seen the ACU and we don’t practice corruption so it doesn’t need to look,” he said. “We can see that Telecom Cambodia has corruption, so they should look at it.”

Last week, Telecom Cambodia suspended a manager accused of involvement in embezzling $230,000 over three years and pledged to send the case to court.

Sorn Vy, a spokesman for Telecoms Cambodia, declined to comment on the ACU allegations as he was not aware of them.

Hei Bavy, general director of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, said he was too busy to comment.

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