1. H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon, Chairman of the Government-Donor Coordination Committee (GDCC) opened the meeting by welcoming all participants to the Seventh meeting of the GDCC. He informed the meeting of the following points:
2. The following development partners provided statements and remarks on the following topics:
Anti Corruption Law
3. Representative of MONASRI provided the following update:
4. Representative from the COM informed the meeting that once the draft law is ready, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Sok An will hold a meeting with all Ambassadors and Heads of International Agencies to present and clarify on matters concerning the draft law.
5. To sum up the discussion on the agenda item, H.E. Keat Chhon requested that we stick to the deadline of this particular JMI that has been agreed between the Royal Government and development partners, that is, the draft law will be approved by the COM by end of June and submitted to the National Assembly.
Legal and Judicial Reform:
6. The Chair of Legal and Judicial Reform TWG provided update on the drafting of the remaining fundamental laws. He specifically urged France to provide experts to work with the Ministry of Justice to complete the remaining two chapters in the draft Penal Procedures Code.
7. The Minister of Women's Affairs briefed the meeting of the delay in drafting of the Law on Human Trafficking due to definitions of trafficking contained in the draft law that is not consistent with the UN Convention to Prevent Trans Border Crimes.
8. Representative of the Ministry of Justice provided clarification with regard to the following points: the Code of Civil Procedures is now at the Senate; MOJ is trying to speed up the drafting process; and MOJ is in need of both human and financial resources to cope with the current workload.
9. The Ambassador of Australia also provided update on future Australian assistance in this area. Australia is having consultation with the Royal Government to formulate an assistance program that will be the successor to the current CCJAP II that is concluding this year.
Public Administration Reform:
10. H.E. Ms. Lisa Kim Felipetto, Ambassador of Australia, delivered statement on behalf of the donor community regarding progress in public administration. Transcripts of H.E. Ms. Lisa Kim Felipetto's speech are attached as Annex II.
NSDP Monitoring Framework:
11. Representative of the World Bank highlighted three specific issues:
12. The UN Resident Coordinator remarked that NSDP is an important document for guiding the allocation of resources to achieve the NSDP targets and CMDGs, especially the additional resources from oil Cambodia is expecting to gain in the near future.
Agriculture and Natural Resources:
13. In addition to delivering the donor statement on natural resource, agriculture, land and forestry, H.E. Mr. Puis Fischer, Ambassador of Germany, added that "the recent World Bank scandal which involved the Ministry of Land Management potentially hurts the functioning of the Ministry, and I regard it personally as a tragedy that some officials […] apparently are not serving the interest of their country. Rather, [they] harm their country's reputation. We expect those involved in the diversion or misprocurement of funds will be held responsible for their action and this should not be regarded as just a question of repaying funds to the World Bank."
14. H.E. Mr. Ty Sokun, Chair of Forestry and Environment TWG provided update specifically on actions taken by the Government in combating forest land clearing and grabbing since the issuance of Government decision on 1 May 2006. He informed the meeting that the Ministry of National Defense has sent to the TWG information on development areas in the forest estate. This information will be shared at the next TWG meeting. He also appealed for further support from the donor community to the action plan that has been prepared by F&E TWG.
15. H.E. Mr. Chan Tong Yve, Chair of Agriculture and Water TWG provided clarification on the following points:
16. In response to H.E. Mr. Puis Fischer, H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon provided update on the management of the crisis with the WB funded projects covering four line ministries. He said that we would like to transform this crisis into opportunity to build credibility for the Government because there have been reports of mismanagement, misprocurements and corruption involved. The Government requests that the World Bank provide to the Government all facts in detail and in writing so that the Government can proceed with its investigation and eventually to punish those responsible. The Government is empowering MONASRI to do this task. But he also indicated that responsibility does not lie within the Government alone but also with the consultants and World Bank staff as well. He emphasized that we need cooperation to combat corruption, and asked that in the future, for the sake of partnership, if the World Bank finds something wrong, the World Bank should notify the Government first before going to the press, so that action can be taken to push for investigation. H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon said that there might be political agenda behind this and that the Department of Institutional Integrity seems to be reluctant to provide the Government with all detailed facts and information. Nevertheless, he urged the Bank to cooperate with the Government and suggested that governance system inside the World Bank should also be improved.
17. H.E. Mr. Sun Chan Thol, Minister of Public Works and Transport said that so far we have not yet received any evidence provided to support the allegations so that action can be taken. He said that the Government of Cambodia is determined to fix the problem and that it is the obligation of the World Bank to share with us all the evidence.
18. Representative of the World Bank said that the World Bank very much value Government's guidance and comments to help improve this process that are now being fed back to the Bank senior management internally. The Bank will do this in the spirit of partnership and respect for the client's needs. He added that the World Bank has decided to go ahead with new projects with support from the Bank senior management.
Decentralization and Deconcentration Reform:
19. H.E. Mr. David Reader, Ambassador of the United Kingdom, delivered, on behalf of development partners, statement on D&D reform. Transcripts of the statement are in Annex II.
9. H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon, Chair of GDCC, concluded that broadly all the items on the agenda related to JMIs are met and that special note has been taken on Anti Corruption Law, and urged all TWGs to consider all the relevant issues that were raised during the discussion, including those raised by NGOs. He also asked H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara, as Secretary General of GDCC, to convey statement by the Ambassador of Germany on land management to colleagues at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. He thanks representatives from ministries and agencies of the RGC, Ambassadors and Heads of agencies of development partners for participating in this meeting.
10. The Seventh GDCC meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM.
List of Participants
H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon,
Senior Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance, Chairman of GDCC
Cambodia Mine Action
Council for the
Development of Cambodia
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Ministry of Commerce
Ministry of Economy
Education, Youth and Sports
Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and International Cooperation
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Interior
Ministry of Justice
Ministry of National
Assembly Senate Relation and Inspection
Ministry of Planning
Ministry of Public
Works and Transport
Ministry of Rural
Ministry of Water
Resources and Meteorology
Ministry of Women's
Office of the Council
Republic of Korea
Non Governmental Organizations
Executive Director, CCC
Your Excellency Keat Chhon
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the donor community, I would like to recognize the work that is going into establishing a public administration that will meet the needs of Cambodia in the future. We would like to recognize the strong efforts and contributions that the Council for Administrative Reform secretariat and others are making to that work. We particularly welcome the Prime Minister's recent statement in which he observes that the quotas based political system is no longer the approach for the appointment of the administration. The key to implementing this approach is to ensure that public service appointments are based on merit, professionalism and neutrality
The extensive policy work that has been undertaken in this area, in service delivery policy, in remuneration reform, in human resource management and human resource development, provides the framework for implementing a far reaching and fundamental process of change across ministries and agencies. Of particular notice is CAR's exploration of innovative model of service delivery including the expansion of the one window office service that has been informed by the lessons and experiences in a number of provinces.
While policy analysis and development is a very important first step, the challenge is really to translate policy visions into reality and implementation. And this will require leadership, self management and support that will encourage and empower ministries to serve the people better. This leadership was recently demonstrated by the Government in its implementation of the Priority Mission Group/Merit Based Pay Initiative in the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the design of the Ministry of Health PMG/MBPI. We strongly support this initiative and will continue to look for ways that will support the Royal Government in leading the public administrative reform agenda.
Another challenge in this area is ensuring coherence with other Royal Government of Cambodia's reforms. For example, the reforms in public financial management, in Deconcentration and decentralization, in the law and justice sector, and in addressing corruption, will also affect public service. While the Government has already a process of coordination, it would help if we could all develop a more coherent view about how these reforms fit together. As part of this process, we will CAR taking an even stronger advocacy role in explaining the public administrative reform agenda so that it will become a cross cutting issue, one that we all seeking to advance. This may require gradual interaction with other Technical Working Groups as they seek to confront public administration issues in their work.
Donors are all committed to working with our respective ministry partners to reinforce the implementation of this important reform policy in the context of sector strategy. We will use the Technical Working Group mechanism to keep other sectoral groups informed of key developments in this important, cross cutting sector. In particular the PAR TWG partners will work together in addressing the need for sufficient resources and capacity development to move forward on the TWG action plan.
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Transcripts of H.E. Mr.
David Reader's Speech
Firstly, on behalf of all the donors, we would like to recognize that the Government has actually embarked on significant reforms in D&D in order to achieve your visions of democratic developments. The three recent statements by the Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, the first in the CG, the second on the 24th of May when the Implementation Strategy for 2006-2007 was announced, and on the last week, have clearly pointed the way forward on D&D and the very ambitious agenda that the Government has placed in it. These announcements also provided detailed insights into the next steps and also clarification of the role of the D&D TWG, but importantly, it provides the opportunity to strengthen country ownership as well as to improve donor alignment and harmonization.
On the donor side, we now look forward to receiving the second part of the Implementation Strategy and also to further consultations on the draft Organic Law that was presented in part last week. Also we would be happy to support the formulation of the Government's new program for democratic developments at the sub national levels and now look forward to receiving your terms of reference on that. However, as you already know, and increasingly clear on the side of donors, timetable for the rest of 2006 is ambitious. The timeframe is tight and donors are under some pressure to secure funding for 2007 in order not to disrupt activities.
But, overall, we are encouraged by the generally positive response in the past few months. In closing I simply would like to say a quick word of thank you to Nigel Coulson who has been the lead on the donor side who is leaving the country soon, and as we hand over the lead to Sweden. Also to mention in that, H.E. Prum Sokha of the Ministry of Interior, who has been invaluable in pushing forward the agenda.
Thank you very much indeed.