KRT hopes HR audit clears mismanagement doubts

Posted by khmernews on June 5, 2008

AP/ Ly Menghour

The Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s (KRT) much maligned human resources procedure has been given a clean bill of health by an audit hopes to enhance trust in the court just as it needs more funding.
“The report will pave the way for the Khmer Rouge court to deal with its budget shortfall,” said Sean Visoth, administration director for the KRT at the launch of the review.

“This special review has shown that we [now] have a system that can work,” Refael Dochao Moreno, Charge d’áffaires of the European Commission’s mission to Cambodia, told reporters.

Jo Scheuer, Country director for the UN Development Program, said the audit showed “significant improvements.”

He said various audits since 2006 on management of the funds for the Cambodian side have shown “no questionable financial transactions, no incomplete or missing documentation in support of disbursements” of money.

He also added that previous auditors have found “no conclusive evidence” to support the allegation of kickback being paid by Cambodian personnel in exchange for  their jobs.

Scheuer and Moreno are member of a committee made up of representatives of the nations and agencies funding the tribunal. It commissioned the independent review by a private Indian auditing firm to look into hiring and recruitment practices, salary scales, project assurance and a code of conduct for the tribunal’s Cambodian staff.

Long Panhavuth, a program official from legal watchdog the Open Society Justice Initiative, said the report was inconclusive. “The audit didn’t monitor what happened over allegations that staff salaries were cut and that there was corruption. it only covered human resource management.”

The Tribunal has been seeking additional funds for operations through to March 2011. It told donor countries in January it would need US$ 170 million, a sharp increase from the originally budgeted US$ 56.3 million.

Rama Yade, the French minister of state for foreign affairs and human rights, told a news conference Friday that her government has pledged an additional US$1 million to the tribunal for this year.

Extract from The Mekong time year 1, No 55, Date Monday, April 28, 2008.


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