Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced the launch of the government’s implementation of vision and strategies of its public finance management reform programs for the fourth phase to enhance financial achievements after the previous three phases had focused on budget, financial accountability and finance-policy connectivity.
The public finance management reform programs have enabled the government to increase its national budget revenue and expenditure to an estimated amount of $8.13 billion and $10.25 billion respectively in 2023 from approximately $450 million and $740 million respectively in 2003—before the government’s implementation of the programs, the Premier said.
The reform programs have also helped Cambodia reduce its dependency on foreign borrowing—currently less than 20 percent of the total amount of the national budget—after one-third of the national budget was the revenue it generated on its own about 30 years ago, while two-thirds were made from foreign financial assistance.
Prime Minister Hun Sen also indicated that the public finance management reform programs in its last phase would enable the government to the firmer foundation of its journey to upgrading Cambodia to become an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 and a high-income economy by 2050. The launch ceremony was attended by senior officials of development partners.
“We must not feel too comfort with these current great achievements. On the contrary, we have to learn from the previous experience and challenges to step forward to new levels with realistic ambitions, which means we have to assess and define possible priorities that we have to most urgently in specific response to the demand of the people,” he said.
The Premier said that the government implemented the third phase of the public finance management reform program from 2016-2022 to increase the linkage between finance and policy after the second phase from 2009-2015 when Cambodia become a lower middle-income economy and focused on financial accountancy and the phase from 2004-2008 to build trust on the national budget.
Further, Prime Minister Hun Sen pointed out that the government’s reforms have reached an advanced level of the essential changes in the policies to strengthen the effectiveness, quality and responsibilities for the results of the implementation made by each public institution and officials in the framework of the entire government, which needs to be strengthened.
The Premier also provided leaders and officials who would be the executors at each ministry and institution of the government with some recommendations for the implementation of the last phase of the public finance management reform programs such as enhancement of ownership in the financial management at ministries and institutions.
Calling upon the heads of the government ministries and institutions to manage their public finance in consistency with their respective objectives and missions, Mr Hun Sen said, “All ministries and institutions must consider the public finance management as work that they have to track regularly and reforms must come from strengthening leadership and management structures.”
“Capacities of officials must also be strengthened… Reforming the national budget system is the core of public finance management as the budget is the key instrument for the government of each country to employ in response to the demand for development through sustainable collection and allocation of resources,” said Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The Premier urged strengthening monitoring and evaluation mechanisms more comprehensively at all levels—both national and sub-national—so that they can be used as the instruments to define strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities in the implementation of all programs and action plans and to enhance achievement accountability.
- Tags: finance management, Prime Minister Hun Sen