Minutes of the
Seventeenth Meeting of the Government-
H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, Minister of Economy and Finance and First Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, in his capacity as Chairman of the Government-Development Partner Coordination Committee (GDCC), opened and welcomed all participants the sixteenth meeting of the GDCC. In his opening remarks, he emphasized on the follow up the implementation of action agreed from 3rd CDCF and Priorities Operating Cost. In addition, H.E. Chair mentioned this seventeenth GDCC meeting is a timing policy dialogue forum that RGC agencies and development partners have realized their commitment after 3rd CDCF. He also stated that the implementing of agreed action from CDCF meeting is the key basis to support the success of Royal Government Reform program.
The agenda items of the meeting were:
i. Review progress on JMIs and CDCF agreed actions
ii. National Program for Administration Reform
iii. AOB/other issues
[All presentations are available on www.cdc-crdb.gov.kh]
Agenda item 1: Review progress on JMIs and CDCF agreed
A. The Revised TWG Guideline and PBA Concept Note
H.E Chhieng Yanara, Minister Attached to Prime Minister and Secretary General of CRDB/CDC, made a brief presentation on the progress of two policy documents preparation – Revised TWG Guideline and PBA Concept Note, a commitment made by CRDB/CDC since the 3rd CDCF. He firstly emphasized that these policy documents have been consulted between RGC and DPs. In this regard, a workshop of the TWG Network was organized by CRDB/CDC which provided an opportunity for TWGs and Lead DP Facilitators to review and provide additional comments to the two draft documents.
Moreover, he also raised that the updated TWG Guideline intended to ensure that sector and thematic work guided by the Rectangular Strategy-Phase 2 and supported to TWGs in prioritizing and strengthening their work for achieving development result. Besides, the PBA Concept Paper intended to help move forward program-based approaches in Cambodia, as the RGC’s preferred tool for implementing sector strategies and core reforms.
Comment by H.E. Mr. Masafumi Kuroki, Ambassador of Japan: H.E. Mr. Masafumi Kuroki raised comment related to word using that SWAps should not be used in the PBA concept note, as it was not appropriate for current Cambodia status that move forward PBAs. He also proposed to reverse the diagram of BPA and aid modalities to put National Strategy at top of diagram.
Response by RGC: H.E Chhieng Yanara responded that it was acceptable for DP’s comment. CRDB/CDC would revise the concept note upon DP suggestion.
B. 2009-2013 NSDP Update Monitoring and Evaluation Framework and the Harmonization between ODA, Planning and Budgeting
H.E Ou Orhat, Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning addressed the progress in preparing of the 2009-2013 NSDP Update Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (NSDP Update M&E Framework). The work on NSDP Update M&E Framework was planned to be completed in mid 2011 in order to be incorporated in the NSDP Update Mid-Term Review, planned to be conducted in June 2011 and finished in September 2011, following with updating CMDGs and revising the NSDP Update M&E indicators. In this regard, the work on reviewing the NSDP Update indicators between MoP and line ministries and agencies would be completed by the end of November 2010. A workshop for a cross-check all suggested indicators by all relevant ministries/agencies would be held in mid-December 2010. Besides, the significant progress has been made by RGC in the process of harmonization between planning, budgeting and ODA. The format and content of the Three-Year Rolling PIP (2011-2013) document have been revised and agreed by the Inter-Ministry Task Force (MEF, MoP, CRDB/CDC, and SNEC) in order to widen the linkages between NSDP, PIP and government public investment expenditure. Further, the ongoing preparation of Situation Analysis report has been consulted within the Task Force and with some concerned DPs (EC, UN, WB, ADB and UNDP) for additional inputs. DPs acknowledged the commitments and efforts made by RGC regarding NSDP Update M&E Framework preparation and the harmonization between planning, government public expenditure and aid cooperation financing; moreover, they would continue to support the next-step process of these works.
C. The Implementation of the Anti-Corruption Law: the Managing of Institution, Capacity and the needs for support.
H.E. Mr. Sar Sambath, Permanent Member of ACU/CoM, presented a report on the progress of the implementation of the Anti-Corruption Law. The legal papers and works, and Anti-Corruption Strategic Plans will be finalized in aiming to support the needs of the Royal Government of Cambodia in implementing the Anti-Corruption Law. With this regard, the ACU has independently undertaken roles and duties in providing to staff accredited to the first 14 Officers as Judicial Police Officers. Additionally, the second contingent will be organized by the end of 2010. Nevertheless, there will be an increasing of 200 members added over the current 60 members; while the capacity development to fight the corruption is urgently needed.
Comments by Mr. Theodore Allegra, Charge d`Affaires, Embassy of the United State of America:
He addressed that the Development Partners congratulate the Royal Government of Cambodia on the passage of the Law on Anti-Corruption and the establishment of the National Council for Anti-Corruption and Anti-Corruption Unit. Thus, they now look forward to the robust implementation of this important piece of fundamental legislation. They would like to work with the RGC in combating corruption and strengthening the new Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). However, three critical questions were raised by Development Partners on budget, support needs and the time frame of finalization of the strategic plan.
H.E. Mr. Sar Sambath response that the budget to support the activities of ACU was subject to seek support from national budget and form our development partners. Support in technical cooperation also crucial for ACU to establish a firm capacity of the technical staff to undertake their work.
D. National Social Protection Strategy
H.E Ngy Chanphal, Secretary of State, Ministry of Interior and Vice Chairman of Council for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) gave a brief presentation on the progress status of the development and implementation of National Social Protection Strategy for the Poor and Vulnerable (NSPS). He further notified that the Social Protection Coordination Unit (SPCU) in CARD was established under the Decision No. 257/CARD in 12 July 2010. The approval process of it is undergoing, as the final version of the draft NSPS has officially submitted to the Council of Ministers in late August 2010. Besides, the proposed activities called “Enabling the Environment for Coordination on NSPS” is plans by CARD in preparing for the implementation of the NSPS with dissemination activities at both national and sub-national levels as well as targeted on capacity building and technical work. Additionally, based on the draft outline work plan produced by CARD in August 2010, a shared roadmap for the NSPS implementation has been prepared. For his final point, he emphasized the importance of re-alignment and harmonization between development partners (DPs) and the Royal Government of Cambodia in preparing their respective country assistance programmes for the next 5 years and beyond. In this context, DPs showed their welcome as well as the continuation of support on this approach regarding NSPS as a relevant and appropriate tool in addressing poverty, shielding the vulnerable and stimulating sustainable economic growth.
E. Law on the Organization of the Courts and the Statute on Judges and Prosecutors - Effective cooperation between the Government
H.E. Mr. Suy Mong Leang, Secretary General of CLJR Secretariat, gave a brief presentation on Progress of Law on the Organization of the Courts and the Statute on Judges and Prosecutors. In his presentation stressed on the strategic objective two of the Legal and judicial Reform Strategy is to modernize the legislative framework. And the progress had been made since the third CDCF meeting on June 2010; five out of eight laws were entered into force, namely the Civil Procedure Code, the Civil Code, the Penal Procedure Code, the Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption law. According to the output of the JMI 16 related to the Legal and Judicial Reform has mentioned the completion of the remaining fundamental laws and the law on the organization of courts, the statue on judges and prosecutors, and the law on the amendment of the organization and the functioning of the supreme council of the magistracy was still under the approval of the Council of Ministers. He also mentioned the challenges of lacking of adoption of those above mentioned law may create problems for the implementation of other reforms in the sector. The TWG-LJR had identified that the slow pace of the reviewing process on the draft laws at the Council of Jurists. The TWG-LJR had also reached an agreement to submit to the Secretariat of the GDCC a discussion for speeding up the process such as an agreed consensus to establish a special sub-group within the TWG-LJR responsible for the implementation of this specific project. The sub-group will also work closely with the Council of Jurists Working Group in charging of the reviewing of the drafts in order to identify constrains and to find an effective way to speed up the process.
Comments from Mr. Flynn Fuller, Mission Director, USAID: The Development Partners are pleased to see the progress made in the accomplishments include the passage of the Law on Anti-Corruption, the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Penal Code and the Penal Procedure Code. Especially, the adoption of the Law on Expropriation and the development of the prison law, of the Circular on the resolution of temporary settlements and of the housing policy, and were ready to explore with the Government cooperation to support their completion and implementation. The development partners also encouraged the RGC to pass the remaining fundamental laws on the organization of the court, the statute on judges and prosecutors, and the law on the amendment of the organization and functioning of the Supreme Council of Magistracy as a matter of urgency. The adoption of a Juvenile Justice Law is critically link to the full implementation of the Penal Code also.
Comments from Ms. Fion COCHAUD, Charge d’ Affairs a.i, Australia: She pointed out about the important of timely conclusion of Judicial Reform System. She also emphasized that the proper functioning Judicial Reform system underpin the prosperity of economic growth as well as security and stability of political system.
Agenda item 2: National Program for Administration Reform
H.E. Ngo Hongly, representative of the Council Administrative Reform, informed the meeting about CAR’s Action Plan 2010-2011 and actions, CAR’s progress report submitted to CRDB/CDC, that were completed. In addition, He indicated that National Program Administrative Reform (NPAR) was about serving people better, enhancing the quality and delivery of public services, enhancing performance in implementation of government policies and program of development. Performing public administration has been highly political; thus, risks and constraints should be manageable and performance should be clear with responsible principles. Furthermore, reforming public administration also involves balancing not only public, but also private, complex delivery, mutual reinforcement action in making change. H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Sok An has said that reforming is to do what can be done and sustaining is what should be done.’ H.E. Ngo Hongly clarified that PAR has taken actions carefully with ambitious, practical, interlink action and realistic to better serve citizens through transforming the administration into an effective service provider and a reliable development partner.
Mr. Qimiao Fan, DP Lead/World Bank representative and Country Manager for Cambodia, strongly supported the NPAR and other action results in which Government, with its strong leadership, has taken seriously to serve people better. He said that constraints and complexities has been the main challenges for RGC; yet, the quality of partnership including capacity to sustain dialogue in the face of complex changes and uncertainties could make a difference in the Royal Government’s success in achieving its objective. As DPs’ representative, he would also like to hear the Royal Government’s timetable toward the approval of options for sequencing compensation reform by December 2011, as agreed at the CDCF. Additionally, Mr. Qimiao Fan raised two points: Welcome CAR’s active participation and close partnership in all sector ministries for mobilizing of all sector programs. DPs also anticipated the Royal Government’s guidance on priorities areas of concrete implementation at sector level and on the role and responsibilities of various partners. POC scheme enabling everyone to fully harmonize practices of salary supplementation, in the meantime, DPs strongly committed to transition as soon as possible to the government system supporting the implementation. Thus, DPs would look forward for initial views on how such transition could be made in the medium-term.
H.E. Chair concluded that the above agenda items were agreed by RGC and development partners. He further mentioned that partnership dynamic work was on-track, and we would work together to successfully realize the agreed action from 3rd CDCF and RGC core reform program and
In his closing remarks, H. E. Chair expressed thanks to DPs in regards to the effort they have made to implement the agreed action endorsed in the 3rd CDCF and continue to support RGC RGC core reform.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 am.