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Thailand Falls into “E Category” of the 2015 Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index

The report noted that since the military coup in 2014, no independent scrutiny of the defence policy by the legislature is in place.

The report noted that since the military coup in 2014, no independent scrutiny of the defense policy by the legislature is in place.

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BANGKOK –  Transparency Inter-national, a Berlin-based global coalition against corruption say’s Thailand has been rated as a very high-risk country for corruption in the defense and security industries.

The country falls into the “E” category of the 2015 Government Defense Anti-Corruption Index by the graft organization, which was established by top global policymakers and has spread to over 100 nations since 1993.

The report noted that since the military coup in 2014, no independent scrutiny of the defense policy by the legislature is in place. There is a lack of budget transparency and insufficient institutional measures concerning procurement.

The corruption not only poses a serious threat to the stability of the state, but also fundamentally undermines its accountability to the Thai people, the organization said. The government should undertake some measures to minimize the risks.

Civil society still has a limited ability to affect debate or solicit information regarding the defense budget or procurement decisions, it said.

Civil society still has a limited ability to affect debate or solicit information regarding the defense budget or procurement decisions, it said.

To make these more transparent and accountable, the government should publish an annual defense budget with detailed information on expenditures for such military-related functions as research, training, maintenance and personnel expenditures, the report suggested.

Civil scrutiny of the defense policy, external audit of the defense budget and oversight of the procurement process will also help ensure that the budget is spent on arms and equipment that actually meet the country’s strategic needs, it added.

The government should outlaw private enterprise by defense and security institutions and personnel, it said, while exploring empowering enforcement agencies.

The group said there is no concrete evidence suggesting that the government or the military see military units or personal involvement in organized crime as a serious problem or are working actively to alleviate it.

With little information provided for the selection of senior personnel, legislation should be tightened and implemented, with formal written procedures as well as an objective appointment system for the selection put in place for middle and top management levels.

The government should overhaul the procurement process, it suggested. Brokers have often already been involved in the process, before the requirement is even communicated to the Defense Ministry.

Transparency International sees a sharp increase in cost to the procurement process of up to 40 per cent, thus a legal framework that addresses brokerages is needed.

Oversight mechanisms are in place but could be strengthened and consistently transparent, it said. A more consistent approach regarding procurement information would also strengthen public oversight and increase public confidence.

The organization also said the transparency of tender boards is important, as these operate internally and release very little information.

The government should come up with mechanisms for companies to complain of malpractice or discrimination alongside clear sanctions for poor behavior as they could help strengthen the overall system, it added.

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Posted by on Nov 13 2015. Filed under Regional News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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