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Finance minister urges civil service capacity upgrades

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Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth speaks at the civil service ministry’s annual meeting on Thursday. Hong Menea

Finance minister urges civil service capacity upgrades

Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth has called on the Ministry of Civil Service to strengthen the ability of civil servants to provide high-quality and professional services to the public, saying that any country that wants rapid development must have a public sector that is competent and free of corruption.

Speaking at the closing of the civil service ministry’s annual meeting to review its work in 2021 and direction for 2022 on March 24, he said public sector human resources are the government’s backbone in providing high-quality public services efficiently and in a timely manner to the people.

Pornmoniroth, who is also a deputy prime minister, further noted that the country is developing expectations for the provision of public services and that the population is growing faster than the pace of development.

He said the civil service must continue to work with the guiding principles of compassion in recruiting officials and attracting human resources who possess capacity, integrity, accountability, energy and patriotism.

“The civil service ministry also needs to strengthen the training and capacity building of civil servants, both new and current, through study at the Royal School of Administration and other programmes aimed at training and capacity building.

“They must do this in order to fulfill their roles in providing public services with quality, efficiency, responsibility and professionalism,” he said.

He urged the ministry to focus on maintaining the balance of effectiveness and efficiency as regards to government spending in the public sector, noting that the burden of public sector staffing is a long-term one for the government, which requires a thorough and careful balancing of benefits and value-added when recruiting new officials.

Pornmoniroth suggested that all ministries and institutions fully consider the necessities and practical needs of expanding or dismantling individual units in their departments in the spirit of economical spending.

He also urged the civil service ministry to expedite the drafting of national programme for public administration reforms for 2022-2035 as soon as possible to submit to Prime Minister Hun Sen for approval.

He told the ministry to increase the efficiency of monitoring the salaries of state employment framework officials as well as continue to support the management and development of human resources in the sub-national administrations.

Civil service minister Prum Sokha said at the event that his ministry has identified four priority missions to be achieved: provide public services to the people effectively and equitably; strengthen the institutional capacity and quality of civil servants with a professional conscience; promote democracy in public administration; and develop and modernise infrastructure to serve the public sector.

Sokha asserted that in the two year period from 2020 to 2021 – due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on managing public services – his ministry has struggled to maintain regularity of the work of civil servants which contributes to the smooth operation of public administration mechanisms across all sectors.

“Due to the circumstances of the outbreak of Covid-19, which required the closure of the ministry’s offices, the ministry is still struggling to carry out its core tasks such as managing civil service data to ensure regular payroll,” he said.

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