The National Election Committee (NEC) said it has trained officials from all of its departments in modern skills and techniques to ensure competency in registering voters, political parties and announcing election results.
A press release issued by the NEC and obtained by The Post on Sunday said that to update the election processes, the NEC had organised a three-day training course from March 5-7, to strengthen the competency of its civil servants.
The course, attended by 272 NEC staff, was aimed at updating election processes in the next mandate.
“The course was rolled out to strengthen administrative capacities and work, unit management and the administrative systems.
“The course focused on management, leadership, checks and organisation. It also educated [participants] on the use of human resources, materials, properties, documents, working formalities, workflow and technological systems.
“The course had also expanded working and operative activities, data management work and the electoral list, financial, auditing, unit procurement work and also the work of the NEC’s secretariat,” it said.
The NEC said the training was in response to its growth as a body and to the administrative and election reform contexts.
NEC president Sik Bun Hok said for the electoral system in Cambodia to be trusted, it has utilised modern technological systems that will guarantee quality and efficiency across election processes.
He said since 2016 the NEC has been investing in modern computer systems that have offered improved transparency and efficiency.
“In the past, registering political parties and candidates was done on paper. This is not an efficient system and causes the NEC to run into many problems and challenges.
“Our increasing modernisation and use of the latest technology will allow us to leverage on online political party registration in the upcoming elections and therefore avoid these problems.
“This update will mean time is gained by both political parties and election organisation officials. Online systems are easy to check, verify and manage.
“The update also ensures that each candidate cannot stand for elections in more than one constituency,” he said.
NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said on Sunday that the update had also helped rectify data that was stored and will allow election results to be announced centrally from the NEC website.
“When we train officials, it means that we are updating our capacity. Our officials in the capital and provinces will be able to use modern materials and technology to ensure better quality and more efficient electoral services,” he said.
Neutral and Impartial Committee For Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Necfec) executive director Sam Kuntheamy said he supported the training of the officials in skills and knowledge.
However, he insisted the training would need to be in-depth to avoid mistakes such as the accidental removal of voters, political parties or candidates.
“I think that training officials is a positive move. But I am still concerned that NEC officials in most provinces work for only a short period.
“They work at NEC only during the elections period, when that ends they do other work. So they are not dedicated to their work nor do they get to practice it often. If they want to have the skills, they need to get involved in the electoral field permanently,” he said.