Silencing Cambodia’s Honest Brokers

Silencing Cambodia’s Honest Brokers – IHT, August 17, 2011
…It didn’t turn out that way. Cambodia today is essentially ruled by a single political party with little room for an opposition, has a weak and corrupt judiciary, and the country’s most effective union leaders have been murdered…

Cambodian Anti-Corruption Drive Creates Headache for Western Firms
– VOA, August 17, 2011
…The problem is that the move has effectively outlawed “facilitation fees,” payments that are critical for doing business in Cambodia. Anyone who pays them can be jailed for 10 years, while the person receiving them can get 15 years.
But what exactly is a facilitation fee?
“Facilitation fees are what are paid basically to low-ranking government officials to assist in doing their job,” said Matthew Rendall, the managing partner at Sciaroni & Associates, a law firm in Phnom Penh. “No advantage and nothing illegal is being obtained. And you are basically having to pay these in order to do legitimate business…”

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