Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing ceremony of the Ministry of Public Functions’ stocktaking meeting of 2023 and directions setting for 2024 [Unofficial and translations]


(1) Public administration at the national and sub-national levels is strong, flexible, effective, and fulfilling national duties

As (the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Functions,) HE Hun Many has just read and clarified, some of the mechanisms and methods we have performed […] what we want is a strong, flexible and effective public administration to fulfill its duties to the nation at both the national and sub-national levels […] let us all work on it altogether at once, both nationally and sub-nationally. We are continuing to carry out the jobs of decentralization and deconcentration, for which participations from every stakeholdera are important […]


(2) Civil service officials are the direct implementers of reforms with all ministries and institutions

[…] The work of reforming public functions is not simple. It demands us to be unanimous and wanting a goal that in the next 10 to 15 years this workfront will be very effective […] These works require innovation, which means being creative in problem solving. It is (necessary to) start from the courage of officials in public functions because they are the direct implementers and will have to work directly with all ministries and institutions […] to seek agreement to participate in the implementation of reform. Making suggestions is easy, but getting down to lobbying and/or working directly requires clarity, courage and high commitment. During these seven months, I have observed the courage, seriousness and high skills of the officials involved in planning the reform of the Ministry of Public Functions […]


(3) Ministries/institutions to organize functional analysis structure and officials to meet national and sub-national needs

I seek the ministries and institutions, especially at the national level, to participate so that we can complete the task of structuring, analyzing functions, as well as preparing officials to meet the needs of both the national and sub-national levels. The shortage of officials is a requirement that we need to address, but also to meet the principles and indicators […] so that the officials recrutied to the sub-national level will stay (working there) […] In this new context, sometimes a department or unit that was created some 20 years ago as a requirementy of that that time, is no longer relevant […] therefore, it is the right thing to do to help the government to strengthen the role of other functional officials or departments or units […] for a promotion to be made, firstly, it is impoortant to be sure that it is necessary to add more or to set up new ones […]; secondly, […] if new staff recruitment is necessary, there has to complete a functional analysis and an agreement on the principles […] as a foundation for making annual assessment […]

(4) Contract technical officials

We set up another functional framework – the contract officials but the technical ones. Therefore, it is necessary to clearly divide the requirements, roles and functions, in department so that it is possible to know how many functional public officials and how many contract techinal ones are needed […] to guarantee that it will address the functional issues in the next 10 to 15 years […] thirdly, the implementation of the incentive system in accordance to the accomplishments […] we have put much thought on it to prepare […] and to ensure participation, encouragement and coordination because what we have been doing so far is wrong. If it was, the government would not be able to stimulate such economic growth. But there are certain challenges that we need to look at and/or to adjust. This reform is not over, whether big or small […]


(5) Demographic growth requires new villages/communes and increased public services

Before concluding, let me share a little impression regarding the decentralization and deconcentration reforms […] we have worked already on decentralizing, deconcentrating and delegating rights and responsibilities to the board of governors of the Capital, Provinces, Districts, and Cities to fulfil their works […] effectively and empowrringly […] for the people. We came out of the Pol Pot’s regime with seven million people. There are now 17 million people. This number will soon reach 30 million. Places that were once deserted are now home to thousands of families. We need to create more villages/communes, and increase rhe public service. For this increasing (number of villages and communes), the key players in the effective implementation of the work are the specialized departments under the capital/province, […]

(6) Ranking up the spcialized department director as an encouragement, promotion of authority and consistency between the sub-national and national levels

In order to encourage and give extra weight, I talked to the specialed public function and we see that there would not be a problem. At present, the director of the specialized department’s (rank is) the level of deputy director of the department (or a rank) of captain. We are preparing for their rank promotions to the director of the department and to major levels […] why do we need to do this? First of all, it is an incentive for the officials who will have more works to do. The director of the specialized department is a professional official who is responsible for the governor and the board of governors of the capital/province and helps oversee the standard below and serves as connection to the line institutions/ministries. That we give him/her a lot of works to do, giving him the rank promotion is not wrong […]; secondly, to contribute to the promotion of his authority and responsibilities, and thirdly, to address the necessity and importance of consistency between sub-national and national implementation […]

(7) Three reasons why the promotion of the director of the specialized department does not affect the hierarchy of leadership/command

Does the rank promotion affect the leadership/command hierarchy? (I would say) no […] Firstly, the provincial governor is already appointed by Royal Decree, with the rank of the Director General. Deputy Provincial Governor by sub-decree […]; secondly, the work performance is not related to the work efficiency of the sub-national unit because the work procedures and process must continue to be implemented in accordance with the legal documents in force […] and thirdly, the organization of people in order to propose (for promotion) is still done from the bottom up, or the province is the one who chooses the candidate, carries out the evaluation, and brings him/her to the Ministry’s attention.

The Ministry will inspect it and agrees or disagrees to the request […] this means that the concerned provincial authority is the first line in the selection […] whereas the ministries/institutions have the right to veto the candidacy […] or to approve it with seal […] now that we rank up the director of the specialized department […] in the civil units, […] all three types of the armed forces shall do the same […] there is nothing wrong with the principles of reform. In the process of decentralizing, we delegate him/her the duties and responsibilities, and give him more weight […] and some asked that that we are ranking them up, would there not going to be an inflated budget? No matter how bloated it is, for the real implementors, let us not be afraid to invest […]./.