Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Friday called on commune councillors across the Kingdom to efficiently manage their budget as the government will double it next year.
“I urge commune councillors to continue to focus on managing and using these funds to be more efficient, transparent and accountable in accordance with the principles and procedures set out to respond to the challenges and needs of people under their jurisdiction,” Mr Kheng said during the closing ceremony of the 3rd General Assembly of the National League of Local Councils in Phnom Penh on Friday.
The government recently issued a sub-decree to increase the annual budget of a commune in the Kingdom to $120,000.
Last year, the budget for each commune was set at $35,000.
The Kingdom has 1,410 provincial communes, 236 municipal communes, and 14,383 villages.
Mr Kheng said councillors must cooperate with ministry and provincial authorities to receive technical support and capacity building initiatives to ensure the budget is effectively used.
“This will secure the flow of administrative work and provide services to citizens…and ensure transparent and efficient documentation and property management in accordance with the directive issued by the Interior Ministry,” he said.
Soy Kosal, head of the NLLC, yesterday said the government is putting in effort into encouraging good governance at the sub-national level.
“The government has paid attention to promote accountability at the commune level,” Mr Kosal said. “So communes can serve the priority needs of the people.”
He noted the government is also planning to again increase commune budgets in 2023.
“In 2020, each commune will receive $120,000, including $70,000 for commune development,” Mr Kosal said. “In 2023, each commune will receive about $190,000.”
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, yesterday said he welcomes the bump in the budget.
“We have seen how commune administrations can see to the financial needs of the people, so we are not arguing against it,” Mr Chey said. “We want to see commune administrations fully implement decentralisation reforms. We also want to see social inclusiveness in the process of commune development.”