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14 Aug 2019

Long Kimmarita, The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia: The govt. meets to discuss a draft law aimed at ensuring quality and safety in construction following a deadly collapse in Sihanoukville

"Government discusses new draft law aimed at construction safety", 13 August 2019

Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara … met for talks with members of the Supreme Council of Consultation and Recommendations over a draft law aimed at ensuring quality and safety in construction…

The proposed draft law aims to ensure quality and safety in construction; protect the property and welfare of the public and property owners; safeguard the jobs of construction workers, and be accountable and effective in doing so.

The draft law, which contains 113 articles and 22 chapters, also stipulated standards for construction techniques and materials, procedures for managing the role of officials and audits, as well as the responsibilities of all relevant professionals and stakeholders.

Articles 92 to 106 specify the penalties for breaking the law – including warnings, revocation of licenses, seizing of property and equipment, fines and imprisonment – mostly concerning articles of the Criminal Code. Offenders face prison sentences of up to 10 years.

… “The ministry issued Letter 067 dated October 4, 2018, about the formation of a working group to inspect and monitor the quality of construction in Sihanoukville. But this year, a building collapsed. It shows that the working group is not active enough.

… Neither Sophara nor his two ministry spokesmen could be reached for comment …

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said that in general, the KRP president’s concerns were reasonable, but by making laws, it at least provided a basis to enforce the law…

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