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Thursday, July 22, 2010

POC - New plan for civil servant salary top-up

New plan for civil servant salary top-up

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THE government has approved a revamped compensation scheme for civil servants, though observers say it remains unclear how quickly authorities and NGOs will be able to implement it.

The Priority Operating Costs scheme was approved July 12 as a replacement for a previous salary supplement programme that was abruptly cancelled last year.

Paul Pidou, deputy secretary general of the Council for Administrative Reform, confirmed that Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the sub-decree, which will be implemented retroactive to July 1. CAR officials were not available for comment yesterday.

A copy of the sub-decree obtained by the Post yesterday shows the new scheme will be more complex than the programme it is replacing. Under the POC scheme, development groups will be required to obtain permission to supplement civil servant salaries for each individual programme.

The sub-decree also outlines two broad levels of pay scales: “national” and “sub-national/public service delivery” .

Jeroen Stol, country director for Handicap International Belgium, said the new definitions could help equalise payments offered by NGOs under the old scheme.

“In the past, different organisations paid different incentives for the same types of jobs, which caused ... jealousy in some cases,” he said.

However, many details are still unclear, he added, including the payment levels in which civil servants will be grouped.

Authorities will need to add a new management layer to administer the scheme, according to its implementation guidelines. Each POC scheme will require its own director and must be approved by the relevan ministry, the development partner, the CAR and the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Sharon Wilkinson, country director for Care Cambodia, said her NGO still has not received any official word about the new scheme. “I still do not feel there’s sufficient information available for us to implement this within the timeframe designated,” she said.

Sub-decree on the establishment and implementation of the Priority Operating Cost (POC) within the framework of development cooperation in Khmer /in English

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