Gov’t Passes Final Laws on Graft

The Council of Ministers approved the final pieces of legislation yesterday needed for the National Council for Anticorruption and the Anticorruption Unit to carry out its activities in combating graft.

According to a statement released by the Council of Ministers yesterday, two sub-decrees were passed that outline the role and responsibility of officials in the Anticorruption Unit as well as the budget that will be allocated for the Unit to carry out its activities.

A third sub-decree was passed formalizing the Anticorruption Unit’s official logo.

The three sub-decrees “are urgently needed to ensure the implementation of the government’s strategy…on anticorruption,” the statement said.

Under the Anticorruption Law, promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni in March, a list of political, government, judicial and civil society leaders will have 60 days to declare their assets and liabilities to the Anticorruption Unit once the laws are signed by Prime Minster Hun Sen.

In total there are about 100,000 people who must declare their assets.

Phay Siphan, spokesman of the Council of Ministers, said yesterday that the new legislation stipulated that every ministry and provincial authority in the country must select one person to “monitor corruption activity” and liaise with the Anticorruption Unit.

He also said that the Anticorruption Unit would receive between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of the national budget to go toward its operations.

These sub-decrees are “very important. If we don’t have these sub-decrees how can we work?” Mr Siphan asked.

According to a document outlining the contents of the sub-decrees, the legislation also outlines how internal investigations would be carried out on officials within the Anticorruption Unit suspected of graft.

Keo Remy, spokesman for the National Council for Anticorruption could not be reached.

On November 29 Anticorruption Unit officials arrested Pursat Provincial Court prosecutor Tob Chan Sereivuth, his brother-in-law Ros Samnang and his bodyguard Chhit Vuthy, marking the first major arrests made by the new graft-fighting body.

 

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