Minutes of the Second Meeting of the
Government-Donor Coordination Committee (GDCC)
held on
7 March 2005, 9:00 am at CDC

1.         H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon, Chairman of the Government-Donor Coordination Committee (GDCC) opened the meeting by welcoming all participants to this second meeting of the GDCC. He informed the meeting that the main agenda item for this meeting is a review of progress that has been made by the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) towards achieving the targets of the Joint Monitoring Indicators (JMIs) agreed at the last CG Meeting.

2.         Before beginning the discussion on the agenda item of the meeting, he thanked the Chairs of the Technical Working Groups and representatives of development partners who have been working together to improve aid effectiveness and to maximize its benefits for the people of Cambodia. On behalf of the Royal Government, he said that he strongly encourages all development partners to place a special emphasis on ensuring that Government representatives have real ownership and leadership in the planning and management of the work of these TWGs, not only to strengthen Government ownership of Cambodia's development activities but also to maximize the effectiveness and benefits of this new mechanism. 

3.         He informed the meeting that to prepare a briefing note for this meeting, the Secretariat of GDCC, at the CDC/CRDB, had sent to the Chairs of all Technical Working Groups a questionnaire to collect information on the current status of their work. He said that he would like to begin this meeting by asking H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara, who is the Secretary General of GDCC, to make a brief presentation on the results reported by the TWGs. He said that following this presentation, the Chairperson(s) of each TWG would be asked to make a brief comment—about 3 to 5 minutes—to provide any additional information that they may wish to bring to the attention of this meeting, and the meeting would be open for discussion.

4.         To start the meeting proceedings, he invited H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara to make a brief presentation on progress that has been reported by the TWGs.

5.         H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara began his presentation by providing an update on the current status of the formation of the TWGs. He informed the meeting that the proposal endorsed by Samdech Prime Minister at the Pre-CG Meeting held on 10 September 2004 called for the establishment of 17 sector/thematic TWGs. However, he noted that in the process of the preparation of Cambodia's Action Plan on Harmonization and Alignment to implement Rome Declaration's commitments, the Royal Government and the development partners have also agreed to establish the 18th TWG on Planning and Poverty Reduction to support the work on the preparation of the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) for 2006-2010. This Action Plan on Harmonization and Alignment was approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 November 2004. He said that, as of December 2004, therefore the restructured composition of the Working Groups includes 18 TWGS.

6.         In terms of progress over the last quarter in getting the TWGs off the ground he said that  the progress has been mixed. Some TWGs have taken charge and are moving ahead. Others are at various stages in getting the work going. As for the TWG on Planning and Poverty Reduction, a government working group has been formed. The TWG on Planning and Poverty Reduction is not as yet in place, and so far donor lead facilitator(s) has not been identified. Referring to the "Briefing Note for the Meeting" that was distributed at the meeting (see Annex A), he shared information on the names of the Chairs and Lead Donor facilitators for each TWG that have been reported to CDC/CRDB as of now. He asked participants to send information to the Secretariat of GDCC at CDC/CRDB if there are any changes.

7.         He reported that based on progress reported the TWGs, the Secretariat of the GDCC has summarized the information for each Joint Monitoring Indicator that was agreed at the last CG Meeting. He used in his PowerPoint presentation the material presented in Annex II in the Briefing Note for the Meeting (Annex A) in which information is organized in a matrix format that included the following four headings:

(i)         Areas (text taken from CG Joint Monitoring Indicators table).
(ii)        Indicators (text taken from CG Joint Monitoring Indicators table).
(iii)       Progress reported by concerned joint TWG.
(iv)       Issues for GDCC consideration.

8.         Following this presentation H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon opened the floor for discussion and proposed to follow the order in which H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara has made his presentation. Following is a summary of the discussion and decisions made regarding the JMIs:

Fighting Corruption and Increasing Accountability
A question was asked as to who is responsible on the Government side for reporting on the indicator on reported cases of corruption.

H.E. Mr. Sean Visoth, Acting Head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Council of Ministers informed the meeting that two agencies are involved: the Ministry of National Assembly Relations and Inspection and the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Office of the Council of Ministers.  On drafting of the information access law, he said that this will be done by the Office of the COM.

Another issue raised concerned the case of diversion of food from the WFP food-for-work program.

H.E. Mr. Sean Visoth, informed that investigations are on-going and that the Government and the WFP have already reached an agreement on compensation on food loss in order to resume food-for-work operations that are important to poor people in the countryside. He also said that the Government will continue its investigation to find those responsible for the food loss and take appropriate administrative and legal actions against them. He informed that as of today, administrative sanctions have been taken against two ministry officials working in a provincial department. They have to pay back the amount of food loss, and the Government will take the same action against those found out later.

H.E. the Chair thanked the development partners and asked which specific institution within the Government is the counterpart in dealing with the WFP food diversion case.  The meeting was informed that it is the Council of Ministers.  H.E. the Chair asked the meeting to take note of this and liaise with the donor community on the WFP issue.

 Legal and Judicial Reform and Protection of Human Rights
On the laws to be drafted and passed, a suggestion was made that it would be useful to know what is on track, not on track, and what can be done to bring on track that are lagging.

H.E. Mr. Som Sophal, Vice-chariman of the Council of Jurists and representative of the Legal and Judicial Reform TWG, informed the meeting that the RGC is working closely with representatives of the donor community on how to expedite and modernize the legal and judicial system and on how to expedite the passage of all the important laws especially the 8 fundamental laws which are of concern to the donor community. He remarked that it is difficult to say when those laws will be ready because after the review of these laws by the Council of Jurists, the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Council of Magistrates would have to provide additional technical information on the draft laws, and in the case of Civil Code, the Ministry of Justice will have to work closely with the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction and other line ministries to ensure its consistency with the existing laws - - a process that causes delays.

H.E. the Chair noted that considerable progress has been made and asked the Council of Ministers to expedite the passage of these laws.  He emphasized that these laws are badly needed to further strengthen governance and not to satisfy donors.  He also made an appeal to co-chairs of the TWG to help push matters forward and for TWG to be proactive.

Public Administration Reform:
A question was raised on how to phase out donor funded salary supplements. A suggestion was made to move on salary supplement issue on two tracks. One track to phase out salary supplements and fund merit based pay reform pilots in ministries and sectors that have a reform program and could implement such a pilot. The second track can be used in sectors that do not have a reform program, in these cases development partners should rationalize salary supplements.

H.E. Mr. Chhuon Chham, Deputy Secretary General of CAR explained the salary issues is related to progress in public financial reform and that CAR fully supports public financial management reform because it is key to increased revenue and effective and improved expenditure control which can lead to pay raise for civil servants.

H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance and Chairman of PFM TWG informed the meeting that an MOU between CAR and MEF to implement a MBPI scheme for the PFM program is being finalized and will soon be signed by both parties.

H.E. the Chair noted that pilots will be gradually implemented starting with PFM, Trade Facilitation, and Deconcentration and Decentralisation; and that public administration reform and other reform areas will follow the merit-based pay principle endorsed by Samdech Prime Minister.

Decentralization and Deconcentration
Comments were made that the most important issue in the Decentralization and Deconcentration process is to have a firm policy strategy framework. This policy framework must describe the roles and responsibilities of the ministries, the role of the provinces and districts and their relations to the ministries.

H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara informed the meeting that the first draft of the strategic framework on D&D has been completed and because the D&D reforms is a critical and sensitive issue that will affect the whole governance system of the country, the draft needs approval from policy makers at the highest level.

Public Financial Management
It was noted that there have been some delays in setting up the trust fund due to institutional constraints. It was also noted that delay in setting up the trust fund has impacted the implementation of some planned activities.

H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Chairman of the PFM TWG informed the meeting that the TWG is finalizing the second update on PFM program that will include program management guidelines and manual, including administrative arrangements, the MBPI guidelines, and implementation and monitoring indicators.

Cross-cutting for Agriculture and Natural Resource Management
A comment was made that agriculture is the most critical sector for poverty reduction in Cambodia and yet there is no guidance on what is really needed to prevent public investment programs going in the wrong direction. Clarification was also sought on who is responsible for reporting on the monitoring indicators 1 to 5. 

H.E. Mr. Chan Tong Yves, Secretary of State of the MAFF and Co-chairman of Agriculture & Water TWG noted that the MAFF and the MWRM have developed and implemented their individual sector strategies, but there has been limited coordination and harmonization between the two strategies.  In this regard, there is a need to develop a medium-term agriculture sector strategy including water.

Mr. Sar Sovann, Chairman of the Land TWG informed the meeting that there has been some confusion about indictors 1 to 5 and clarification has been sought on which ministries/agencies are responsible for reporting in this area. He said that land is a cross-cutting issue and no sole agency can solve this. Therefore, the TWG has requested the Council of Land Policy to set up a working group to solve this issue.

Private Sector Development
H.E. Chair, speaking as the Chair of the Private Sector Development Steering Committee, reported that to promote private sector development, a Private Sector Development Steering Committee has been established that has three sub-committees dealing with Investment Climate and PPI, Trade Facilitation and SMEs.  He noted that substantial progress has been made.

Gender, Poverty, and HIV/AIDS
A questioned was asked whether it is possible to get a timeframe on when the Planning TWG could be established so that the donor community is clear about how and where to support the Government on the preparation of the National Strategic Development Plan.

H.E. Mr. Ou Orhat, Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning, reported that since November 2004 the Ministry of Planning has been working on establishing an inter-ministerial technical working group.  He pointed out that the composition of the inter-ministerial technical working group will be finalized by March 11, 2005 and the technical working group will be chaired by the MOP, MEF and SNEC.

H.E. Chair urged the ministries and agencies to quickly nominate officials to the TWG before 11 March 2005, and appointed H.E. Dr. Hang Chhuon Naron, Secretary General of MEF and Secretary General of SNEC to the TWG.

Health & Education:
In health and education, the progress reports submitted by the TWGs did not report any delays in PAP disbursements.  However, the representatives of the TWGs explained that it is an old issue that has been discussed on many occasions and that is why it was not reported. Recommendations were made to reactivate the joint taskforce to look at disbursements to the social sectors, especially PAP, consisting of MEF, MOH and MOEYS.

H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth of the MEF elaborated in detail on PAP disbursement issues. PAP has had a lot of difficulties not only in terms of cash flow, but also in its design and implementation. PAP was supposed to be a pilot program as a performance or budgeting mechanism with specific outputs and indicators for monitoring. However, the program has not been implemented as planned. So far, no guidelines and criteria for program operations and monitoring have been developed.

H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth also explained in detail the issue of disbursements. He informed the meeting that a solution which was discussed at the PFM TWG meeting is to disburse the entire 2004 rolled-over budget and approach at least 80-90 percent of the budget for 2005.  This would eliminate the roll over in budget allocation by 2006. MEF is mindful about late disbursement. He noted that, the issue does not solely depend on budget capacity but more on the capacity of line ministries to use the budget appropriately according to the rules and procedures in the Financial Law, especially on procurement. Lastly, he informed the meeting that PFM TWG has discussed and agreed on the continuation of the taskforce.

H.E. Chair informed the meeting that around CR 1 billion are now available for the two ministries (Education and Health), and that every month one eighth of the revenue collected is reserved for PAP budgets for the two ministries.

Harmonisation and Alignment
H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara, Chairman of the Harmonisation and Partnership TWG noted some concerns and challenges that the Government has in moving forward on harmonization and alignment of ODA supported activities in Cambodia. One challenge is the disconnect between donors' headquarters and their field offices in terms of clear directions and delegation of authority to the country offices to enable them to fully participate in the implementation of Cambodia's harmonization and alignment initiative. Another challenge is the low usage of Government systems and procedures by donors in channeling ODA activities. He also noted that there is a need to ensure that capacity development efforts are demand-driven and well coordinated with ministries and agencies to enhance national ownership and leadership of ODA activities.

H.E. Chair emphasized the importance of implementing the harmonization and alignment initiative. A fundamental element in implementing this initiative is for Government and donors to have an open dialogue. Dialogue is a key aspect in creating a better understanding between Government and donors. 

9.         H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon, Chairman of GDCC, concluded that all the targets of the JMIs that were agreed to at the last CG meeting have been "broadly met" during the first quarter.  However, there is still much to be done. He urged all the TWGs to be proactive.  He announced that the next GDCC meeting would be held on June 6, 2005.

10.       Following the meeting, a signing ceremony between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations Country Team on the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2006-2010 was held at the Council for the Development of Cambodia.

11.       The second GDCC meeting adjourned at 12:30 pm.



H.E. Mr. Keat Chhon, Senior Minister, Minister of Economy and Finance            Chairman of GDCC
H.E. Mr. Chhieng Yanara, Secretary General, CDC/CRDB                                 Secretary General of GDCC

H.E. Mr. Hong Sun Huot, Senior Minister, Chairman of National AIDS Authority
H.E. Mr. Chan Tong Yves, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
H.E. Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance
H.E. Mr. Pok Than, Secretary of State, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
H.R.H. Prince Sisowath Chivannariddh, Secretary of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Relation
H.E. Mr. Y Dan, Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice
H.E. Mr. Ou Orhat, Secretary of State, Ministry of Planning
H.E. Mr. Tram Iv Tek, Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transportation
H.E. Mr. Ly Pros, Secretary of State, Ministry of Rural Development
H.E. Mr. Sean Visoth, Acting Head, Anti Corruption Unit, Council of Ministers
H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Secretary General, Ministry of Economy and Finance
H.E. Mr. Nouv Kanun, Secretary General, Council for Agricultural and Rural Development
H.E. Dr. Tia Phalla, Secretary General, National AIDS Authority
H.E. Mr. Chhuon Chham, Deputy Secretary General, Council for Administrative Reform
H.E. Mr. Khem Sophoan, Director General, Cambodian Mine Action Center
H.E. Mr. Tuon Thavrak, Acting Director General, Ministry of Planning
H.E. Mr. Suy Mong Leang, Council for Legal and Judicial Reform
H.E. Mr. Sam Sophal, Council of Jurists
Mr. Kong Sophy, Deputy Director General, Council for Administrative Reform
Mr. Chou Yin Sim, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Health
Ms. Sok Chan Chhavy, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Women's Affairs
Mr. Nao Thuok, Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Mr. Sok Saravuth, Director, Ministry of Economy and Finance
Mr. Sam Sereyrath, Director, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
Mr. Sar Sovann, Director, Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction
Mr. Pich Veasna, Director, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology
Mr. Srun Darith, Director, Council for Agricultural and Rural Development
Mr. Rith Vuthy, Director, Council for Development of Cambodia
Mr. Chua Sam Ang, Deputy Director, Forestry Administration
Mr. Hav Ratanak, Deputy Director, Ministry of Economy and Finance
Mr. Im Sethyra, PFM Secretariat, Ministry of Economy and Finance
Mr. Bun Roth, Ministry of Economy and Finance
Mr. Uy Sambath, Ministry of Rural Development
Mr. Sao Chivan, Ministry of Rural Development
Mr. Sar Chanty, Council of Ministers
Mr. Suon Sovann, Council of Ministers
Mr. Eang Savet, Forestry Administration
Mr. Seng Sun Narun, Forestry Administration
Mr. Farid Siddiqui, Senior Advisor/Programme Manager, UNDP/ CDC
Ms. Harumi Okawa, Expert, JICA/CDC
Mr. Ramanathan Natarajan, Consultant, UNDP/CDC
Mr. Alain Benicy, Principle Advisor, CAR 

Development Partners:

H.E. Ms. Lisa Kim Filipetto, Ambassador of Australia
H.E. Ms. Donica Pottie, Ambassador of Canada
H.E. Mr. Alain Rauch, Premier Counsellor, Embassy of France
H.E. Mr. Dominique Dordain, Consellor, Embassy of France
H.E. Mr. Fried H. Fischer, Chargé d'Affaires, Embassy of Germany
H.E. Mr. Susumu Inoue, Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Japan
H.E. Mr. V. Dikenshin, Counselor, Embassy of Russian Federation
H.E. Mr. Claes Leijon, Counsellor, SIDA Resident Representative, Embassy of Sweden
H.E. Mr. Nuttavudh Photisaro, Minister, Embassy of Thailand
H.E. Mr. Shyam Bajpai, Country Director, ADB
H.E. Mr. Winston Mc Colgan, Chargé d'Affaires a.i, EC Delegation
H.E. Mr. Robert Hagemann, Representative, IMF
H.E. Mr. Douglas Gardner, UN Resident Coordinator
H.E. Mr. Etienne Clement, Representative, UNESCO
H.E. Ms. Bettina Elke Maas, Representative, UNFPA
H.E. Mr. Rodney Hatfield, Representative, UNICEF
H.E. Ms. Margaret Picken, Director, UNOHCHR
H.E. Dr. James Tulloch, Representative, WHO
H.E. Ms. Nisha Agrawal, Country Manager, World Bank
Ms. Fleur Davies, Head, AusAID
Mr. Alan Leber, First Secretary, Embassy of Canada
Mr. Yves Terracol, Director, AFD
Mr. Julien Calas, Program Officer, AFD
Mr. Thomas Engelhardt, Country Director, GTZ
Mr. Volker Müller, Team Leader, GTZ
Mr. Juro Chikaraishi, Resident Representative, JICA
Ms. Chinami Hanazono, Advisor, Embassy of Japan
Mr. Ryotaro Takaku, Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan
Ms. Sachiko Nishioka, Advisor, JICA
Mr. Ryotaro Oda, Assistant Resident Representative, JICA
Ms. Elizabeth Smith, Head, DFID
Mr. Phil Marker, Program Manager, DFID
Mr. Chris Price, Rural Livelihood Advisor, DFID
Mr. Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID
Mr. Paulin Van Im, National Program Officer, ADB
Ms. Ricarda Rieger, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP
Ms. Geeta Sethi, Country Program Advisor, UNAIDS
Ms. Julie David, Coordinator HIV/AIDS, UNESCO
Ms. Nerea Bilbatra, Representative Assistant, UNESCO
Ms. Barbara Orlandini, UN Coordination Specialist, UNRCO
Ms. Yoko Konishi, Junior Professional Officer, UNDP
Ms. Pam Saravanamutn, Country Director a.i, WFP
Ms. Mia Hyun, Poverty Specialist, World Bank
Mr. Bou Saroeun, Officer, World Bank

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