On behalf of the Secretary of the Budget Working Group, the NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) in collaboration with the Rattana kiri Provincial Network and the Provincial Hall organized Provincial Dialogue Workshop on “Citizen Engagement in Budget Formulation and Monitoring Public Budget Expenditure Process at Sub-National Level” which funded by Oxfam. The workshop was attended by a total of 67 participants (20 women) from the Governor of Rattanakiri Province, NGOs, district authorities, Members of Commune Council, Community, Youth and Students. The main objectives include:
• Identify challenges and next plans to increase public participation in the budgeting and oversight process
• Consultation on how to increase public participation in the budgeting and budget monitoring process.
Welcoming remarks by Mr. Leang Bunleap, President of Rattanakiri Provincial Network, said that the Rattanakiri Provincial Network of Civil Society Organizations was established in 2006, which has been cooperating smoothly with provincial authorities, local authorities at all levels, and professional officials. Our network is actively contributing to the development of all sectors, especially development at the sub-national level, which encourages the full participation of local people. The Rattanakiri Provincial Network plays an important role in facilitating the establishment of good cooperation and dialogue between civil society organizations, authorities, and relevant institutions to promote a better, more environmentally friendly, and effective cooperation environment. Through the smooth cooperation in the past, the network of civil society organizations in Rattanakiri province has been actively involved in some important activities such as information dissemination, consultation, and providing training to the community, NGOs, and local authorities.
Key remarks by Mr. Ouk Vannara, Deputy Executive Director of NGOF Speaking at the workshop to participate in the process of commune investment planning (CIP) and monitoring the implementation of the budget effectively, it requires three main factors, including 1). Increase the knowledge of the participants, especially the people in the local community in the coordination mechanisms and procedures / systematic guidance that can facilitate the participation and monitoring of the public as well as civil society organizations; and (3) ensure that mechanisms provide access to official information and feedback from relevant ministries and institutions, as well as mechanisms for collecting input from the public to promote participation at both the national and sub-national levels. In addition to these major factors, there are some other factors that I believe the entire workshop will contribute to the discussion through the coordination of each group representative this morning, as well as to determine priorities to ensure participation in the investment planning process and monitor the implementation of the budget plan with high efficiency.
Opening remarks by His Excellency HE Nhem Sam Oeun, Deputy Governor of the province, said that Civil society organizations are important partners in participating in social development. For example, managing resources in a development plan to contribute to social development is very important. And budget monitoring is also very important, sometimes we spend budget that not align to budget allocation and we have a problem. He emphasized that our resource needs to be transparent in using it, and it is important factor of our responsibility for development.