Public administration reform and local governance are key areas of ADB support under the current country program and strategy (CSP) and the 2005 2009 draft CSP. ADB has supported the development of local governance through the commune Council Development Project (CCDP). The goal of CCDP is enhanced poverty reduction through more participatory, transparent and accountable governance at commune-sangkat level throughout Cambodia. Component 1 of CCDP aims to establish 420 commune facilities in 20 rural provinces across the country.
Commune councils, elected for the first time in February 2002, will play an active role in the promotion of democracy and are the local authority for planning and implementing commune socioeconomic development. In addition, communes and administration are responsible for providing social services, Appendix 5 159
including civil registration. Currently many communes do not have offices or are accommodated in temporary and dilapidated structures. The medium- term objective is to ensure that all commune councils have facilities and basic equipment required to function effectively.
The structures, processes, and procedures for identifying communes eligible for facilities, securing necessary government approvals, tendering civil works contracts, and monitoring and supervision of contractors have been well established under CCDP. Key processes and procedures include (i) agreement
on a project implementation methodology that follows established guidelines and regulations of the government for procurement by commune councils; (ii) surveying of commune facility needs assessment, a formalized scoring method for commune selection, and establishment of a priority list of communes; (iii) standard designs concepts and full architectural and structural detailed design drawings for three standard models, based on Khmer traditional designs which should reflect local pride; (iv) detailed cost estimates for three standard designs; and (v) established standard procurement methods and related documents for civil
works by commune councils.
At present, ADB is the only donor providing significant assistance to the Government in establishing basic, functioning commune facilities and offices. These small civil works projects have provided an excellent opportunity for commune councils to apply their developing leadership, supervision, and monitoring skills in managing the contractors responsible for construction. The learning has been enhanced by a supportive environment provided by the Department of Local Administration and the national consultants under CCDP.
Commune council members and staff have performed well in carrying out these functions.
Once basic commune facilities are established, commune councils can then focus on key administrative functions to enable the smooth functioning of council operations. Skills in office management will be important to protect commune assets such as equipment and furniture, monitoring inventories of supplies, and safeguarding official records such as civil registration documents. Effective record keeping and filing will be important to enable communes to provide services effectively to members of the community. Commune councils will have a responsibility to promote the commune council facility not only as a place of work for councilors, but also a meeting place for members of the community for public activities.
In order to ensure that all commune councils have the basic facilities required to carry out their functions, it is proposed to undertake a second phase of commune council facilities to complete the process of establishing basic facilities in communes across the country. It is also proposed that support be provided to
build capacity of commune councils to safeguard and manage commune assets, inventories, and records effectively.