Gov’t Officials Warned by ACU Over Spending Irregularities

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) last week sent a pair of vaguely worded letters to two government officials, warning them to properly report their budget expenditures or face action from the anti-graft body.

In a letter sent Thursday to Hok Kim Cheng, the director of the National Blood Center, ACU chief Om Yentieng said Mr. Kim Cheng failed to submit his center’s budget on time and that if he is late again, the ACU will investigate.

“Mr. Hok Kim Cheng…must stop every improper action from now on, otherwise the ACU will take action,” says the letter, which was posted to the ACU’s website.

It says Mr. Kim Cheng must “cooperate actively with the ACU in providing information about the irregular case in order to reduce corruption,” adding that he must report to the ACU every three months for the next year.

Contacted Sunday, ACU deputy chairman Chhay Savuth refused to provide further details about the “corruption” mentioned in the letter.

“We must warn him in order to remind him to complete his work properly,” Mr. Savuth said, declining to comment further.

Mr. Kim Cheng said Sunday that he was not concerned about the ACU’s warning, as the late submission of the budget was merely the result of a clerical error.

“This is a small problem,” he said. “I don’t care about the ACU’s warning because we did nothing wrong.”

The ACU also issued a similarly vague letter on Thursday to Phy Longdy, the director of the Pailin provincial labor department, warning him to be more careful in reporting his department’s expenditures.

“Mr. Longdy must strictly and properly obey obligations thoroughly and properly without disbursing the funds to the wrong target,” the letter says.

It adds that if Mr. Longdy fails to do so, “the ACU will take action in accordance with legal procedures.”

Mr. Longdy declined to comment Sunday.

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