Critics Say Too Many Officials, Too Little Work

The number of governors and deputy governors representing the country’s 24 provinces and mu­nicipalities has ballooned to nearly 200 in recent weeks due to the appointments of two new officials in each area.

But some say there is too little work being done to justify the new postings.

Chea Vannath, president of the Center for Social Development, said Monday that the jobs were created to fulfill political arrangements between the ruling parties, ra­ther than to address any real ad­ministrative needs.

“There are too many [governors and deputy governors], and they have no work to do in some provinces. This is a burden to pay funds for them,” she said.

Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-Gen­eral Eng Chhay Eang agreed, saying: “With a big head and small legs, [the government] will collapse.”

According to an agreement made between Funcinpec and Na­tional Assembly President Prince No­rodom Ranariddh and Prime Min­­­ister Hun Sen during the for­ma­tion of their coalition government, each province, municipality and district will receive two more de­puty governors—one from Fun­cinpec and the other from the CPP.

With the new appointments, there is now one governor and nine deputy governors each in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

In each of the provinces and municipalities, there is now one governor and seven deputy governors.

Since the posts were ap­proved two weeks ago, the new of­ficials have been assuming their duties.

One deputy governor in Ban­teay Meanchey province, who spoke on condition of anonymity, al­­so questioned the efficacy of the new appointments on Monday.

“We already have too many de­pu­ties. But now two more will be sent to Banteay Meanchey to work,” he said.

“This is a big burden for our prov­ince,” he added. “We have to prepare funds for them to rent houses and build offices for them.”

Kung Hunthearith, secretary of state for the Interior Ministry, said that the appointments were in line with the government’s plans.

“This is the government’s policy,” he said. “It has its purpose.”

Prach Chan, governor of Bat­tambang province, said Monday that he was pleased with the ap­point­ment of two new deputy governors to his province and welcomed the new staff.

“When I have more deputies, it is better and easier to work,” he said.

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