Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that the government has efficiently implemented new information technology systems to battle corruption.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Royal School of Administration, Mr Hun Sen said that technology contributed a lot to the government’s battle against corruption and administration reform.
Mr Hun Sen said that the reforms helped the government monitor “ghost” officials, referring to names of officials listed to get salaries but holding no real position.
“Now we are using information technology systems to control our civil servants,” he said. “We are using technology systems to fight against corruption.”
Mr Hun Sen said that the government found thousands of ghost officials in different ministries and the military, saving money for the national budget.
The premier added that tax revenue has also been improved through technology as all taxpayers can now make payments through the bank rather than to government officials who previously collected bribes.
Mr Hun Sen also said that he dissolved the Supreme Council on State Reform in 2013 because it was failing to do its job, noting that reforms have improved since the move.
“Reforming public administration caused me headaches before,” he said. But I can say with pride that when I worked on this by myself, even though until now it is not completed, it has so far been a huge success, especially reforming public administration.”
“I thought that I could trust previous officials with the reform because they had high education degrees,” he added. “But on the contrary, there was no help; they destroyed reforms.”
Transparency International executive director Preap Kol said that the government is moving in the right direction by making use of technology to battle corruption.
Mr Kol added that he always encouraged the government to adopt an E-Government model and maximize the use of technologies as much and as fast as possible.
“It has helped reduce small-scale corruption that is carried out at the local level,” he said, noting that cases of corruption carried out on a large scale still go unchecked.
Mr Kol said that the government must next tackle corruption being carried out at higher levels in order to gain the trust of the public.