The government has effectively implemented information technology systems to battle corruption, especially through the use of automatic payment systems, a ruling CPP official said yesterday during an election roundtable moderated by the Khmer Times.
The Khmer Times has organised a series of roundtable discussions for political parties to debate their platforms as the national election on July 29 approaches. Watch the first discussion here
The first roundtable took place yesterday and included representatives from the ruling CPP, Grassroots Democratic Party and the Democratic Republican Party.
CPP lawmaker and spokesman Suos Yara said during the event attended by a dozen university students that digital administration was a key instrument to stamp out corruption by eliminating ghost officials collecting salaries without performing any duties.
“With payment through the bank, no one can cheat or withdraw money from government officials,” he said. “Before, we could accuse a director of a department of cheating workers’ salaries, but now they cannot do that because there is an accurate figure in the bank.”
“For example, there were also ghost names of soldiers,” he added. “Why do we pay for ghost names? This is a prime example of eliminating corruption through the use of digital administration.”
Sam Inn, secretary-general of the GDP, agreed with Mr Yara, but voiced concern that corruption remained through unscrupulous procurement of development projects, notably road construction and the granting of an economic land concessions.
“Millions of dollars in development is implemented without transparency,” Mr Inn said.
Mr Inn urged the CPP to also implement information technology systems for contract procurement on development projects so that they could be carried out transparently and publicly.
Showing up 15 minutes late to the roundtable, deputy president of the DRP Chan Yet said that corruption could be battled through strict enforcement of immigration laws.
Sovann Srey Pich, one of the university students in attendance, said afterwards that each party spoke of clear platforms, but she remained sceptical whether their promises would be implemented after the election.
“I found it really interesting to hear their visions and planned reforms,” she said. “I think it’s important for voters to listen and ask them questions and observe them from one mandate to another to make sure they do what they promise.”