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PHNOM PENH – PM Hun Sen has officially launched phase 4 of the Public Financial Management Reform Program (PFMRP) to keep reforming Cambodia’s institutions and improve the financial efficiency of the State.
Speaking at the PFMRP implementation ceremony on March 20, the prime minister said the government has undertaken three reforms since 2004 to improve the functioning of institutions.
The first phase was implemented from 2004 to 2008 and focused on strengthening budget reliability. The second was conducted from 2009 to 2015 and aimed to improve financial accountability, while the third one took place from 2016 to 2022 and placed the emphasis on increasing the interface of budget to policies.
The fourth phase started to be implemented in early 2023 and will run until 2027. It will focus on improving accountability for budget compliance, said Hun Sen, adding that he identified eight key recommendations to successfully implement the fourth phase of the reform.
The ministries and institutions leaders are urged to increase their leadership and participation in the implementation of the reform, starting with the strengthening of leadership and management structure, in accordance with the government’s common principles.
They are also advised to pay attention to the preparation of the budget to ensure the long-term attainment information budget in accordance with the “Budget System Reform Strategy”.
“Reforming the national budget is the core of the financial management reform as budget is a key tool for governments to answer to the country’s needs by gathering resources sustainably and analyzing the resources for effective development”, the prime minister said.
He added that the State budget for the year 2023 stands at 32.9 trillion riel (about $8.2 billion) while public spending is expected to reach 41.6 trillion riel ($10.4 billion).
He also called on government officials to ensure continuity with the previous reforms, by applying what he called the “3+1 reform” strategy.
PM Hun Sen then encouraged leaders to continue promoting the development of digital sectors in accordance with the Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035, by interfacing with the public financial management reform program and other reform programs.
The prime minister suggested government officials improve their work efficiency both at the individual and team levels by applying what he called the “5 working approach”, which consists of the following 5 working steps: “Mirror, Bath, Scrub, Treatment, and Surgery.”
The leaders, the prime minister continued, must develop their leadership skills at all levels of management, as the ability to motivate their teams is the main factor determining the success of the ministries and public institutions.
All leaders, on top of that, must apply the “quality, ability, and merit” principle as work culture, particularly in human resource management.
“This principle is not only used in the public financial management reform program framework, but it will also be a prioritized principle of the government used to strengthen the authorization and capability of institutions at all levels,” he said.
The prime minister, lastly, called on leaders to strengthen their ability to “monitor, inspect, and evaluate” the work of their subordinates at all levels to determine the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities of every implementation of action plans.
Throughout these 20 years, the continued reforming of Cambodian institutions’ financial health has helped the country be listed as a low-middle-income country in 2015, the prime minister said.
He hopes to see the momentum continue so that Cambodia could become a high-middle-income country in 2030 and potentially a high-income country in 2050, he said.