Library Renovator Waiting for Full Payment

The newly renovated National Library reopened in February, but the government has yet to complete its promised payment to Sambo Vuthy, the business responsible for the renovation, the company’s accountant said Monday.

“The state had to pay all costs to my company by the end of December, but unfortunately they still owe 50 percent more,” said Meng Kimlorn, accountant for import-export business Sam­bo Vuthy.

The accountant said that the government agreed to pay $96,000 of the renovation costs and signed a contract stating that it would complete all of its payments to the company by the time the renovation is finished. But the government has paid only half of what it owes, she said.

Suy Sive, construction office chief of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said Monday that the contract allowed the government to pay the company in two parts. The first payment has been completed and the government is preparing to pay the second part, he said.

The Finance Ministry gives the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts only a certain amount of money a year, and the first part of its payment to Sambo Vuthy exhausted all funding, so now both ministries have to wait for more money, he said.

The contract also states that the government would be fined 0.05 percent of the entire cost of the project if it could not pay on time, Meng Kimlorn said, adding that the company agreed to pay a 0.1 percent fine if it did not finish the renovation by the expected date.

“But my company is not going to fine the government because we have been working together for quite a long time,” Meng Kimlorn said. “I hope that we can get the remaining money soon or the company will not earn profit for the renovation.”



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