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Cambodia's underdeveloped oil and mineral reserves currently account for only a small fraction of government revenues and less than one percent of exports. International mining companies have started exploration projects, but no large-scale extraction is expected before 2015. Similarly, despite the discovery of petroleum reserves, Cambodia's oil and gas potential remains untapped. While the government's priority is to attract private investment in the extractive industries, civil society groups have called for greater focus on sustainable natural resource management and good governance.

Cambodia's Performance on the Resource Governance Index

Cambodia received a "failing" grade of 29, ranking 52nd out of 58 countries. Very low scores on the Reporting Practices and Enabling Environment components contrasted with a higher score on Institutional & Legal Setting.

(out of 58)
(out of 100)
52 Composite Score 29
42 Institutional & Legal Setting 52
Freedom of information law 0
Comprehensive sector legislation 67
EITI participation 0
Independent licensing process 50
Environmental and social impact assessments required 100
Clarity in revenue collection 50
Comprehensive public sector balance 100
SOC financial reports required N/A
Fund rules defined in law N/A
Subnational transfer rules defined in law N/A
56 Reporting Practices 13
Licensing process 33
Contracts 0
Environmental and social impact assessments 0
Exploration data 0
Production volumes 0
Production value 0
Primary sources of revenue 0
Secondary sources of revenue 0
Subsidies 0
Operating company names 100
Comprehensive SOC reports N/A
SOC production data N/A
SOC revenue data N/A
SOC quasi fiscal activities N/A
SOC board of directors N/A
Fund rules N/A
Comprehensive fund reports N/A
Subnational transfer rules N/A
Comprehensive subnational transfer reports N/A
Subnational reporting of transfers N/A
40 Safeguards & Quality Controls 46
Checks on licensing process 22
Checks on budgetary process 33
Quality of government reports 28
Government disclosure of conflicts of interest 100
Quality of SOC reports N/A
SOC reports audited N/A
SOC use of international accounting standards N/A
SOC disclosure of conflicts of interest N/A
Quality of fund reports N/A
Fund reports audited N/A
Government follows fund rules N/A
Checks on fund spending N/A
Fund disclosure of conflicts of interest N/A
Quality of subnational transfer reports N/A
Government follows subnational transfer rules N/A
43 Enabling Environment 20
Corruption (TI Corruption Perceptions Index & WGI control of corruption) 9
Open Budget (IBP Index) 21
Accountability & democracy (EIU Democracy Index & WGI voice and accountability) 33
Government effectiveness (WGI) 22
Rule of law (WGI) 13
Satisfactory Weak
Partial Failing
To explore all data and compare
scores, use the RGI Data Tool.

Institutional & Legal Setting (Rank: 42nd/58, Score: 52/100) learn more

Cambodia's "partial" score of 52 is the product of an emerging legal framework and limited disclosure requirements.

The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy is the primary collecting agency for mining revenues, though the Economy and Finance Ministry also collects some revenues. The Cambodian National Petroleum Authority (CNPA) directly collects fees from oil companies.

The primary legislation governing the sector is the 2001 Law on Management and Exploitation of Mineral Resources, which contains critical gaps and ambiguities. A Petroleum Law has been in draft for over 10 years; the amended Petroleum Regulations currently govern the sector.

Environmental impact assessments are required but often provide little information and are not easily accessed by the public. Both the Mining Law and the petroleum regulations contain non-disclosure provisions, and there is no equivalent of a Freedom of Information Act. The licensing process is opaque, involving direct negotiations between companies and the government.

Reporting Practices (Rank: 56th/58, Score: 13/100) learn more

Cambodia's "failing" score of 13 is its lowest on any component, reflecting a near-total lack of government data on the extractive sector.

The government does not publish information on the licensing process, and contract terms are not disclosed. The Economy and Finance Ministry publishes extractive revenues only in aggregated form and does not include information on current operations and indicators. The CNPA does not publish an annual report. MIME, CNPA and other government agencies recently expanded the information available on their websites to include lists of relevant laws and regulations and the names of operating companies. Cambodia's resources have not been extensively surveyed or developed, so there is little information on reserves, although estimates of potential revenues from these resources vary from millions to billions of dollars.

Safeguards & Quality Controls (Rank: 40th/58, Score: 46/100) learn more

Cambodia's "weak" score of 46 is due to insufficient government reporting mechanisms and a lack of effective checks on the licensing and budgetary process.

Cambodia's licensing authorities are technically independent, but powerful officials often have a stake in private enterprises. The Mining Law and other regulations do not effectively limit the discretionary powers of the licensing agencies and there is no process by which to appeal licensing decisions. The National Assembly has limited oversight powers; the executive branch's Council for Development of Cambodia oversees contracts and licensing issues. The national audit office reviews government accounts and publishes results, but is subject to little legislative oversight.

However, the Cambodian government appears to be taking steps toward reform. A newly enacted Law on Anti-Corruption prohibits bribe-taking and requires public officials to disclose their assets.

Enabling Environment (Rank: 43rd/58, Score: 20/100) learn more

Cambodia received a "failing" score of 20, performing particularly poorly on rankings of corruption control and the rule of law.

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