BANGKOK – Thailand’s Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya told the Media on Wednesday that local administration organisations throughout the country are plagued with corruption, with both political and permanent officials being the worst of those involved.
Gen Paiboon, in his capacity as chairman of the Centre for National Anti-Corruption (CNAC), made the comment at the opening of a workshop to address budget overspending among local administration organisations, which comprise municipalities, provincial administration organisations (PAO) and tambon administration organisations (TAO).
He said CNAC was an anti-graft agency which focused on prevention rather than suppression based on the belief suppression alone could not solve the problem.
Like the drug trade, money is the main catalyst for corruption.
Corruption involves not only budget allocations, but also abuse of laws to allow for dishonest practices.
“It has been evident that political and permanent government officials are involved in most corruption cases. Although not all of them are bad, they are the main cause of corruption,” he said.
“What is quite alarming is the fact that more officials from independent agencies and justice-related agencies have a tendency to enter politics after retirement and some of them are given cabinet posts because of their connections and power to benefit certain groups of permanent officials,” he said.
Citing an example of corruption on the part of government officials, the justice minister said: “No investors would dare encroach on a forest to build a resort worth thousands of millions of baht without their help.”
Gen Paiboon said the government is duty-boundÂ to lay down measures to prevent government officials from being corrupt.
Serious action must be taken to combat corruption, not just an announcement to make it a national agenda to create a favourable image. CNAC and the Interior Ministry will be the main agencies to make sure that all local administrations answer to local people, he said.
“Local administrations are agencies that can truly respond to the needs of the people. A PAO, for example, is responsible for overseeing not only budget spending. It also has hospitals, schools and other facilities under its supervision. They’re supposed to be the prime minister for local people. The question is: Have our local administrations reached that stage?” said Gen Paiboon.
Source: King- Oua Laohong | Bangkok Post