detail - Cambodia Office
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Constituency offices (COs) are a key instrument for Members of Parliament (MPs), allowing elected MPs to engage with their electorate. A CO is a central location, easily accessible for citizens, which enables their voters to reach out to their respective MPs. Well-functioning COs provide the MP with minimized gaps between him/her and the voter, by creating a forum of exchange. Listening to citizens’ concerns and raising such concerns at the National Assembly, while simultaneously informing the constituency on political opinions, legal initiatives and political projects from the national level are core elements of an interactive dialogue.
In order to work effectively, MPs are in need of support to implement their work at the CO. In most western parliaments staffing of the CO is the sole responsibility of the MPs themselves. The Members’ CO allowance allocates funds for salaries and for constituency assistants.
In line with the financial allowance for MPs goes the responsibility to account for the expenses. Regular internal and external audits ensure the righteous allocation of funds from the MP’s budget.
The situation in Cambodia is different. The duty of the Constituency Department is to facilitate the work between elected representatives and their constituents. The existing COs are managed by Office Directors, who have the duty to receive and forward citizens’ complaints to relevant committees of the National Assembly. This way they assist in facilitating the MPs’ tasks during their missions, such as collecting, compiling and updating development plans, coordinating with local authorities and reporting on MPs’ activities in their constituencies.
The workshop shall contribute to the assessment of the current situation of COs in Cambodia, to help clarifying their role and function and to identify achievements and challenges in daily operations.
German parliamentary advisors will introduce comparative perspectives on the organization, structure, budget and daily activities.