Voters Give Government Mixed Results in Progress Assessment

Between 2009 and 2010, the government fulfilled nearly a third of measurable platform promises but only 2.5 percent of less easily quantifiable benchmarks, according to a report released yesterday by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections.

The NGO mon­i­t­ored the pro­gress of 10 ma­jor, measurable prom­ises made in the government’s 2008 platform.

Pay raises for civil servants and armed forces, expanded clearances of explosives and an in­crease in clean water access were the three fulfilled promises. The 70 percent un­fulfilled by 2010 included meeting economic growth targets and tour­ism goals.

“The Royal government has achieved some of their pro­mi­ses…and the 4th legislature still has another three years to go,” the re­port concludes.

But in the study of intangible promises—those without easily measured benchmarks—the government fared far less well.

In a series of forums, voters were asked to assess how well officials had lived up to 80 indicators. Only 2.5 percent of the indices were deemed “fully accomplished.” The vast majority were listed at the bottom as “moderately,” 42.5 percent, or “not-at-all” to “slightly” accomplished, 35 percent.

Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel, said yesterday that unless future government platforms were tied to strict benchmarks, the trend was likely to continue.

“We’re educating people to de­mand precise indicators, be­cause how else can they learn whether there’s been achievement?” Mr Pan­ha said yesterday. Most of the platform promises that fall into the “imprecise” territory, noted Mr Panha, deal with government ref­orms, such as broad promises to reform the judiciary or undertake political reforms.

Cheam Yeap, a senior CPP lawmaker, brushed aside the report’s findings, saying the government had stayed on track with its goals.

“We have done everything ac­cording to our ability,” he said. “It will take us a long time to eliminate poverty, but we are gradually achieving it.”

 

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