The Royal Government of Cambodia and the World Bank Release Summary Report and Action Plan Aimed at Reducing Fiduciary Risks

September 16, 2005

PHNOM PENH, September 16, 2005 - The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) and the World Bank released today the summary report of the study "Reduction of Fiduciary Risks under World Bank-funded projects in Cambodia."

The Fiduciary Review (FR) confirms that works, goods and services reviewed under four projects have been delivered and have contributed to the achievement of the projects' development objectives.  However weaknesses in fiduciary control systems were uncovered.  The World Bank and the Government have agreed to develop and implement, in consultation with other interested development partners and members of civil society, a set of measures to address these weaknesses.  Among them, the RGC recently issued projects' Standard Operating Procedures including a Financial Management Manual and a Procurement Manual. 

The Fiduciary Review is a proactive instrument that was used to assess the effectiveness of fiduciary controls at different stages of the project cycle and to propose specific measures to improve them.   

"The study is part of the World Bank's overall strategy to strengthen its supervision and fiduciary responsibilities to its shareholders and is a key component of the World Bank's new overall Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) for Cambodia, which focuses on improvement of the governance environment.  We are determined to implement the study recommendations in full partnership with the RGC and other stakeholders, and work hard to ensure that the projects intended to help the people of Cambodia are effective and beneficial," said Ian Porter, World Bank Country Director for Cambodia.

Likewise, the Royal Government of Cambodia has supported the FR because it promotes transparency and accountability, two core values of the RGC Rectangular Strategy for Development.

"The Fiduciary Review exercise is a step forward of the RGC policy in promoting transparency and accountability in using public resources not just before the Cambodian people, but also before taxpayers of donor countries," H.E. Senior Minister Keat Chhon said.  "Just like our development partners, the RGC also wants to make sure that donor assistance is well spent and reaches the intended targets.  Through these finding we understand the weakness and the need to fix them in our system and to build our human and institutional capacity to improve governance in this endeavor.  At the same time we should be able to establish an appropriate sanction mechanism to ensure the effectiveness of our policy implementation."

To promote transparency, the World Bank and the RGC have taken the additional step of making a summary of the Fiduciary Review available to the public.

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Kimberly Versak