The Anti-Corruption Unit announced on Tuesday at the 33rd Session of the National Anti-Corruption Council that the unit received 49 complaints, of which 22 were anonymous, in March.
In the announcement, which Khmer Times received yesterday, the ACU stated that it summoned 26 people to clarify accusations by letter and questioned 20 accused people during public sessions.
“The unit has asked 26 accused people to clarify by letter, has received 31 clarifications by letter and responded to 40 complainants after considering their lawsuit to not be relevant to the control of the Anti-Corruption Unit,” said Kheang Seng, acting president of the ACU.
The announcement added that the unit received assets and liabilities declarations from 2,136 people in March.
According to the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index, released by Transparency International in late February, Cambodia scored 21 out of a maximum score of 100, with zero being highly corrupt and 100 being completely honest. Cambodia has had the same score for the past four years.
The 2017 index ranked Cambodia at 161 among 180 countries and territories included in the CPI, giving it the lowest rank in all of Asean. The Kingdom was ranked 156 in the 2016 index when it included four fewer countries.
A resident of Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district, who asked not to be named, said that corruption at the commune level remained the same according to what he has experienced.
“I think that at the commune level, the commune chief can do as they please due to the absence of other parties criticising or finding any mistakes,” he said.
He said that whenever he has gone to obtain any documents for his family, subordinate officials always demanded a higher price from what the state has set, but he didn’t dare criticise them over fear they would not prepare the documents.
“At one-window service offices in the districts, citizens pay for the service in accordance with the table set, but there are still some officers who take the opportunity to demand money from citizens in exchange for doing the documents quickly,” he said, adding he usually had to pay an extra $10 to $20.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said that according to his observations, corruption in public administration services at the lower level has decreased, with the reason being to attract voters by providing good service.
“The corruption in natural resource management such as forestry still occurs because of logging, timber transportation and wildlife crimes. In addition to these problems, the condition of roads at the commune, provincial and national level is still damaged from serious corruption,” he said.