Monday, June 10, 2024

Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing of the 2023 training course, and welcoming the 2024 intake of the Royal School of Administration (RSA) [Unofficial and translations]



(1) The core of the pentagonal strategy/policy is to strengthen good governance

In implementing the first phase of the Pentagonal Strategy, the Royal Government of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly has organized and laid out efforts to strengthen the Royal Government’s additional achievements/accomplishments in serving the people. At the heart of the pentagonal strategic policy is the strengthening of governance […] the transformation of institutions into modern, highly competent, smart and clean public administrations – through the exercise of state authority, especially to ensure the sustainability of public administration focusing on the inclusive, resilient and sustainable interests of the people and the socio-economic developments – are the main goals of the pentagonal strategy […]

(2) Success depends on two important factors: mechanisms and people

Success depends on two important factors […] mechanism and people. Where there were capable people but there was no working system, the work would not be efficient. Where there was a good working system but there were no capable people to implement it with sincerity and responsibility, it would not work well too […] regarding the first point – the mechanism and the working system, (it is important) to ensure the work efficiency and consistency that create a synergy in society. Nobody can live alone […]

What is a public administration created for? It is created to lead, coordinate and serve. That is what I say we are putting our house in order, and at this stage, the reform of public administration, to arrange our house in a way that people living in the house are healthy and capable, and willing to build more houses, and to go out to work to earn more incomes for everyone, and that would be the harmonization of our home. Here, home means our country, our nation, which had suffered from hundreds of years of war that we have put back on track of development so far […]

(3) Reform is to repair and transform the work system to provide efficient services to the people

Reform is about fixing and transforming the work system/mechanisms necessary to increase the efficiency of providing services to the people. In the past, the Royal Governments of many terms have done a lot of reforms. In fact, the major tasks such as (1) the introduction of decentralization and de-concentration policies to increase the efficiency of the country’s mechanisms and systems to serve the people quickly and efficiently by bringing services closer to the people, and by relocating power from the central level to the Capital and Provincial Administrations. As of now, in some places, the recruitment of officials, the planning of the implementation of some tasks, we have delegated the decentralization and de-concentration jobs to the front line or to the district administration […]

(2) the introduction of the OWSO (one window service office) is to reduce time, costs, and bureaucracy to increase efficiency (in providing services) to the people […] in more than 40 years since the liberation from the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, the government has pursued one goal – to make the country strong and to improve the health and well-being of its people, whereby improving the ability of the Royal Government to serve the people better […] we have reformed the economic system, the leadership system to be in line with the situation and better for the people, modernize the work system, promote the use of digital technology to provide better services, or use various mechanisms to set up technology platforms to up the efficiency (of service delivery) […]

Increasing the adjustment, innovation of the labor system and the structure, power transfer to the sub-national level, combined with finding ways to enable people to have better access to services is on one side of the equation. On the other, who is the service provider? Did all these results go to the people alone? It all goes to the people, but at the same time it comes to the civil servants […] such reforms allow civil servants in ministries, national institutions, sub-national administrations to be able to decide what to do to solve problems for the people in a timely manner […]

(4) Planning is 50% successful but people are key to monitor and implement

“Planning has made us 50% successful” so they say but successful implementation needs people as they are the one to monitor and implement (the process of identifying and) solving problems. We cannot just lay out a plan/policy and implement it inflexibly. It would not work. Policy comes from the many components of thoughts. However, when it comes to implementation, it has to adapt to the situation. Sometimes the practice in Kampong Cham is different from what we should do in Tbong Khmum. The demographic situation is different. It may require officials to be flexible but adhere to principles, to perform the tasks as without being deviating from the law, […] having said that does not mean not to abide by the law, but there are circumstances (that need to be checked) as it is human/people who implement them […]

(5) Capacity based on meritocracy, will, ownership and professional ethics – indicators of human resource development goals

What are the indicators in human resource development goals? They are the professional capacity based on ethics, will, ownership and professional ethics, or we say the attitude, virtue, morality […] human resources who have the ability to assess the situation and strive to promote the implementation of the plan or legal principles with the ability to achieve tasks with flexibility but adhere to the goal of enforcing the law, strengthening the procedures and principles that apply […]

(6) Officials shall be accurately recruited, orientated and let to perform duties in accordance with skills and potentials, and motivated thanks to accomplishments

[…] First of all, attention must be paid on the recruitment (of officials) by ensuring the consistency, right-on-target professions, on the basis of meritocracy, fairness and justice to assure transparency. Secondly, making sure to provide training to ensure consistency in job performances […] we work as a team, […] and ministries have different skills, but there must be a cooperative code of conduct. National and sub-national administrations have individual rights and responsibilities […] but there must be cooperation along the line […], it is therefore important to have training so that they will understand the role, responsibilities and hierarchical positions. Thirdly, delegating them works that are in conformity with skills and potentials. Once recruited and trained, but should they be not properly placed in jobs that they were trained for – hence, that would include assigning and organizational tasks, and appointments – we cannot expect them to be fully effective and/or to create potential to expected level. The last point (fourthly) is to motivate based on their accomplishments/performances […]

(7) Develop new methods/mechanism for entrance exam with consistency and joint responsibility

This work has been done for many terms, and in the seventh legislative term, the Royal Government will continue to (1) recruit staff with meritocracy, transparency, justice, environmental efficiency to ensure the quality of human resources serving in the ranks of civil servants, ministries, and sub-national administrative institutions. It all starts from the recruitment point […] In this new reform, we devise a new approach, which is to mobilize a central mechanism to lead the organization and monitoring of the exams. For the sake of coherence and shared responsibility, I have decided to suspend all recruitments in November (2023), […] what impressed us is that (first of all) the number of people applying to take exams has been increasing […] a confirmation of belief in the system (of the exam). If it is thought that each exam is inaccurate, there may be a problem with the number of applicants. The second thing is everything went quietly well […] should there be abnormalities, there would be tons of comments on social media. We have, to out satisfaction, striven to make you those who passed the exam proud, and those who failed accepting with full heart […]

(8) To become an official, one must start with confidence, invest in strength of mind and body, work hard to learn

Civil servants must start with self-confidence. It is an investment in mental and physical strength to learn hard. Do not invest in searching for and bribing someone powerful. Everyone must invest in their effort. Having ensured the accuracy and correctness through this exam is an example and is a big encouragement for the Cambodian young generation who want to become civil servants […] since the successfully transparent exams not only ensure hard-learning students would pass, but more importantly, they have corrected students’ and parents’ behaviors […] to no longer seek intervention, but guide children to learn better […]

(9) Implement the “fill in the blanks, make demand sufficient, keep them on the jobs” approach to avoid “more but understaff or less but overstaff” dilemma

As for training work, RSA has cooperated with the committee and the Ministries to recruit officials who have the ability, will and skills to be trained […] we have been able to recruit the right officials, to address staff demand sufficiently, and to keep them on the jobs, whereas spreading officials to where they are needed and their skills are to be useful is the key issue. For instance, if the 400 recruited staffs whom we sent to the local provincial workplaces suddenly a year later are all in Phnom Penh, we will have this syndrome of “more but understaff” and/or “less but overstaff” […] by which we would suffer the loss of everything – the national budget resources, the need to recruit more, and the most serious thing is the loss of human resources […]


(10) RSA prepares students officials for current and future leaderships

Thirdly, is the attitude, will, responsibility, and ethics. The school has paid heed to all of them and put in place a number of measures to strengthen discipline. The RSA should be a school with high discipline standards, but measures to promote discipline should not be too strict […] it starts with the individual responsibility of each student and teacher. This is what I mean by saying that the Royal School of Administration is a school with high standards of discipline, but should not take to serious action (on students regarding disciplines) as they are going to be current and future leaders […] there is no need to install a scanner (for instance) […]

As a school to prepare people for leadership […] – whether they are students who have passed the exams or student officials – all of them are going to be in the current and future leadership at a certain degree. Leaders must be role models and that would start from self-control and fulfillment of duties without having to have anyone pointing what to do […] each student should understand the value and obligations, the price of a seat, the price of a photo, s/he holds and is in […] seminarians/participants shall understand the value of the seat s/he sits, firstly, and secondly, the duty as a student and official graduating from RSA […]

(11) Implementing the four approaches for the sake of understanding and providing opportunities to correct shortcomings and perform self-development

We have the approach of looking at oneself in a mirror, taking a bathing, scrubbing, and taking treatment and surgery to ensure the efficiency, quality and integrity of the public administration to serve the people […] As you can see, there is also a fifth approach – taking surgery. We do not always use that approach, however, […] except for some important tasks such as drug trafficking that we had to […] implementing the four approaches is for the sake of understanding and providing opportunities to improve oneself. No one is perfect. The Government is also not perfect. However, we need to aim for the perfect government – to address the weaknesses leading to development […] until there is a direction in perfecting ourselves that we will be interested and correct the shortcomings […] graduating from RSA, nobody would ever know from which intake or class you could be […] but your ability will reflect […] as you are going back to your workplaces, you would need to prove how much you have learnt of public administration […] as it relates to the values, honor, discipline (of the school) […]

(12) To serve the people is to serve oneself and one’s family

Samdech Techo have said that “an official is a servant and not a boss of the people”. The fact that officials have jobs, opportunities, and current roles thanks to the support of the people, whether through elections or participating in economic activities, economic growth, so that the state has income to serve and solve various problems for civil servants and citizens. Once our functions are removed, we are also citizens living in the society or village/commune. Once retired, we are no longer civil servants, we will become ordinary people. Our children, our spouses, our grandchildren are also the people. In this regard, serving the people is like serving ourselves and our families […] we must put our hearts together to improve the living environment […] by firstly, creating more positive achievements for the society and secondly, together reducing negativity […]

(13) Working together in difficult as well as in not-difficult times

[…] Once graduating from RSA, some may have existing civil servant frameworks, some will have a framework in the future, and some – if not going to work in government institutions, may even find jobs in private institutions, organizations or whatever, (let me urge you to keep up) self-study, practical public service environment, and/or building an inclusive society for everyone – by which everyone benefits, whereas everyone participate in all fields […] in the past more than 40 years, the fact that we have realized this much was not easy, and we need to keep up maintaining. That in difficult time we worked together, let us continue to do so in easy time. We continue to work together to overcome the difficulties lying ahead. This is not over, we must in all the time and all generations continue to carry out because a society never stands still […]./.

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