A Change of Guard

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Thursday 30 July 2015

Interior Minister Launches Ghost-busting Commission

Interior Minister Sar Kheng presides over the launch of the new “ghost-busting” commission at the Ministry yesterday. KT Photo: Chea Takihiro

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – The government is strengthening the quality of the civil service, warning that staff who fall short of standards will be let go and that so-called “ghost workers” will be eliminated, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said yesterday.

Mr. Kheng also announced a new commission would be formed to investigate the ministry’s staff in the wake of damning reports identifying the widespread existence of “ghost workers.” Such employees are registered as salaried employees but either do not exist or do not show up for work. 

He hopes the commission can serve as a “radar” system to reduce ministry expenses as well as root out ghost workers and unpunctual employees.

 “In order to improve the work quality in the ministry, we would like to have job application examinations to recruit qualified officials,” said Mr. Kheng. 

Mr. Kheng also warned that the ministry is now looking to root out corruption in every office. “We also will crack down on any activities of corruption that happen during the job-application process, such as bribery,” he said. 

“In the future, we want to have job interviews for the chief and vice chief of each department,” the minister said. 

San Chey, a fellow at the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia, said civil servants ishould be forced to pass an exam in order to avoid political appointments and positions being filled by people with connections but no experience.

“When they are under political power, they cannot use their skill for successful work,” Mr. Chey said.  Instead of creating a new commission, the government should simply make the job entrance exam more difficult, he added.

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