Study: Gov’t Needs Public Say

Cambodia lacks accountability in public institutions, has little citizen participation in policy making and needs to improve local government, a study released at the recent meeting between government and donors says.

The final results of the good governance study, conducted by the Cambodia Development Re­source Institute and commissioned by the Asian Develop­ment Bank, urges Cambodia to develop human resources, establish a rule of law and communicate better with NGOs, the private sector and international donors in making policies and taking actions.

“There remains a wide scope for improvement in reform programs to enhance governance more effectively and efficiently,”  the study, which was distributed Monday, states.

The study, conducted last year, examined five issues of government reform, including public finance, public administration in civil service and armed forces, decentralization of the government, the legal and judicial processes, and regional integration and cooperation.

According to the findings, little attention has been paid so far to holding public officials and institutions accountable. The end result, the study states, is that people have no confidence in the law.

A preliminary report on the findings released last year also noted that donors needed im­provement, and criticized aid agencies for assuming the government’s commitment to reform exists on the basis of a few meetings with senior officials.

The final report recognized that the government has launched ambitious reform programs, but stated that obstacles remain, such as a lack of participation of the private sector.

The study recommends the government give advance, public notice of new legislation and establish a notice-and-comment period prior to approval of laws.

The study also suggests that the National Assembly and the Senate have more capable finance and banking commissions to monitor public institutions and officials.



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