No Firm Date On First Actions of ACU

The declaration of assets by government and civil society, described as the first action of Cambodia’s newly formed anticorruption institution, will have to wait until after the Council of Ministers passes a sub-decree to be submitted before July 19, Anticorruption Unit Chairman Om Yentieng said Friday.

The Anticorruption Law states that after the Anticorruption Unit and National Council for Anticorruption are created, government, judicial and civil society leaders have 60 days to declare their assets and liabilities.

Both bodies were formed last month, but Mr Om Yentieng said through an interpreter yesterday no deadline can be set until the passage of a sub decree that will organize the operational guidelines of the council which oversees the Anticorruption Unit.

“When the sub decree is adopted and when we consider that the [Anticorruption Institution] has been fully established…we have only 60 days to implement the asset declaration,” he said following a USAID-sponsored three-day workshop focused on strategic planning for members of the Anticorruption Unit.

The Anticorruption Institution also plans to submit a sub-decree on its finances and logo, he said, noting that the Council of Ministers already had numerous sub-decrees to consider.

“We hope that in ten days time we will submit the sub-decrees to the Council of Ministers, and we hope that the Council of Ministers will prioritize it,” he said.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said sub-decrees are usually dealt with on a “first come, first served” basis, but exceptions are sometimes made. Mr Siphan declined to comment on whether this sub-decree was urgent.

The sub-decree must first go through a counsel stage, and then be reviewed by an inter-ministerial coordinating committee before it can reach the full plenipotentiary committee, he said.

“It might take time for that,” he said.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the workshop, USAID mission director Flynn Fuller told members of the Anticorruption Unit, “People of Cambodia have very high hopes and expectations and are looking to you to be brave and courageous in implementing it.”


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