Meeting April 29, 2010


Speaking Notes

H.E. Ngo Hongly

Secretary General

Council for Administrative Reform



Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,


Today is yet another step in our dialogue to reform the Public Administration to serve people better. On April 9, the Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Sok An, Chairman of the CAR met with a high level delegation of development partners. They agreed on direction and to empower the technical level to design and implement POC and to further advance the reform. Today, we prepare for the upcoming CDCF and identify Joint Monitoring Indicators to guide our work and mutual accountabilities.


Implementing the Priority Operational Costs scheme is our most urgent task. The July 1 deadline is approaching very fast. It is just around the corner. At the technical level, we have reached agreement on the structure of a POC payment grid targeting functions within the context of financial cooperation agreements. On the government side, at the technical level, we have developed target levels for each type of payments. We are now in the process of evaluating cost implications. Next week, the technical team will need to reach agreement on a proposed grid. It will also need to reach a consensus on a process for the establishment, management and monitoring of POC so that ministries and their partners could start work to establish POCs at the sectoral level. Guidelines to assist in the establishment of POCs in areas that were covered by support schemes in December 2009 are being drafted and will be circulated for comments and validation by the technical team next week. A more detailed guide will follow-up as soon as possible.


My point is that the technical team is doing everything it can so that ministries and institutions and their partners can prepare for implementation and that, together, they should start now to prepare the necessary documentation to establish POC in line with the agreed principles of POC. The CAR and MEF will stand ready to speed up decisions on the establishment of individual POC.


We all agree that compensation need to be reviewed. At the meeting on April 9, participants agreed that POC could only be a transitory measure and that government will work to deepen the Administrative Reform and reform compensation as a long term solution. At the meeting, the DPM emphasized that, contrary to POC, compensation is a permanent task of the State and that it is a function that depends on four factors: growth, equity, unity and performance. Reviewing compensation is most complex and very challenging. Adopted solutions shall be sustainable.


Already, work is underway. With our partners, the CAR Secretariat has undertaken studies to inform decision making. Two studies on the labor market and the fiscal space are underway. Very shortly, work will start to update and complete methodologies to carry out reviews of operations, train people in their use and conduct pilots. Work has also started to review the structure of compensation.


A reform of the Administration as that being envisaged in the draft NPAR is highly ambitious. As the DPM often says, it is also a deeply political venture about what can be done. We will succeed if the vision is clear and widely shared; if implementation is practical; if capacity to do is adequate; and, if we can manage the required change.


The JMI being envisaged for submission to the CDCF in June is itself ambitious. It is within the context of the PAR Technical Working Group that the output indicators will be made operational. At this stage it would be premature and presumptuous to be specific about timelines and milestones. As for all matters of such complexity, we shall proceed with method and in stages: preparation, analysis and reflection, decision and implementation.


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,


I would like to take this opportunity to expand on the depth and scope of NPAR – Serving People Better. You all have received copy of a presentation used by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An to explain NPAR to some 600 high officials at the launching of the Census on April 2.


In the overview schema slide, the upper triangle illustrates how we intend to improve the quality and delivery of public services. Public services shall be transparent, responsive and efficient. To do so, we will for example:

  • Review, complete and disseminate the Compendium on public services
  • Improve access, simplify regulations and reduce bureaucracy;
  • Complete and disseminate the Governance Action Plan III;
  • Continue deploying Special Operating Agencies;
  • Develop and establish user feedback and recourse mechanisms; and,
  • Promote the use of ICT

This work of NPAR will directly contribute to the fight against corruption. Indeed, users of public service will be in position to complain directly to the CAR or the Anti-corruption Unit to seek redress.


The second stream of NPAR consists in enhancing core values of motivation, loyalty, professionalism and a culture of service within the Administration. To do so, we will, for example:

  • Disseminate information on what it means to be a civil servants;
  • Gradually change attitude and behavior of civil servants;
  • Enhance control mechanisms;
  • Deploy tools to manage performance and accountability;
  • Enhance compensation;
  • Strengthen the management and development of human resources;
  • Develop capacity to plan, manage and monitor capacity development.


As you can see, the work program for the Administrative Reform to 2013 is very ambitious and we will have to prioritize our actions carefully. This brings me to today’s topic of discussion: the proposed output indicators for the JMI. I would then like to complement with other immediate priority activities of the Administrative Reform for the next year. The JMIs are but the tip of the iceberg.


1.   The NPAR is approved.

A draft NPAR has been widely distributed for consultation. We are now in the process of finalizing it to account for comments received. For the most part the envisaged actions remain but they are being reorganized to better align with the goal of the reform: serving people better.


2.   HRM processes are streamlined and approved

A draft policy framework advocating performance and merit based practices has been widely circulated. The Secretariat, with ministries, is reviewing four personnel management processes relating to recruitment, career progression, promotion and retirement. This work is progressing well. When completed we will address five other processes to enhance the management and control of the Civil Service.


3.   Approved policy framework on HRD

Again a draft policy framework has been circulated for consultation. The Secretariat, with ministries, will finalize it for approval at the first opportunity. The framework calls for demand driven and cambodianized HRD and for a greater coordination of efforts.


4.   Information base to review compensation is updated.

An initial fiscal space study was completed but it needs to be updated in light of evolving circumstances and the labor market study is underway. That latter study focuses on benchmarking positions in the Civil Service in light of good practices outside the Civil Service.


It is envisaged that the guide on operational review and a training program will be completed before the end of the year. Piloting the review would start in the new year in a handful of ministries or institutions.


It is then that we will prepare in consultation with ministries and development partners a series of documents required to inform on the review of compensation.


These are but a few of the activities of the Administrative Reform. Closely related to these actions, the Secretariat of CAR, in close collaboration with ministries will:

  • Complete the headcount and the census Already we have completed work in eleven ministries at the national level. Over 1,700 ghosts have been identified and we are collecting a wealth of information on available skills within the Civil Service.

  • Deploy a system of smart cards These ID cards will serve a number of purposes. They will contain core information on holders; they will be used for attendance purposes and to attest identification, for example, to receive salary payments.

  • Strengthen the HRMIS Work is underway to expand the functionalities of the system and to further enhance its reliability. The data base itself is being made more secure and is being expanded to account for the results of the census.

  • Draft a redeployment policy for approval This policy is viewed as essential to strengthening the performance of operations and to implement RGC priorities. The policy will specify the conditions and modalities of how best to meet operational needs across the country.

  • Enhance public service delivery This work entails the completion and dissemination of the Compendium on Public Services to enhance transparency and accountability in the delivery of public services; the finalization of GAPIII to improve delivery processes service by service; the development and dissemination of a guide to assist ministries and institutions improve the quality and delivery of their services.

  • Develop capacity Work is underway to develop and implement a program to train trainers in core skills. Shortly, we will undertake a project to develop a curriculum and program to train all managers across the Civil Service and to train a core group of experts. We will also develop and implement a program to enhance capacity to implement the reform.

As you can see, the Administrative Reform is charging ahead on a broad front of interdependent and mutually reinforcing activities. And, I have yet to mention such activities as the management of the payroll for the whole Civil Service, the day-to-day control of the establishment and the myriad of interventions to support and assist ministries.


The CAR is strongly committed to continue to assume leadership and ownership in order to face the challenges and difficulties linked to the Administrative Reform. As the Deputy Prime Minister said at the April 9 meeting, the Royal Government is committed to reforming the Administration and it welcomes and is open to all form of participation from development partners.


Thank you very much for your kind attention.

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