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INSIDE THAILAND
Introduction of New Law on Conflict of Interest Intended to Prevent Bribery

4 August 2017 (Readers 501)

 
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam stated that the draft bill on offences concerning conflict of interest between personal gain and public benefit was intended to prevent officials from receiving bribes by using their official positions.
 
Speaking after the Cabinet had approved the draft bill, Mr. Wissanu said that the new law would cover officials at all levels, state enterprise employees, officials at public organizations, political office- holders, such as ministers, members of parliament, senators, and members of local administrative organizations, as well as members of the private sector who are committee members in government agencies.
 
He said that apart from the officials themselves, the draft bill also covers their spouses, parents, children, and sons- and daughters-in-law. During any official visit abroad, officials who have received gifts at a value exceeding that stipulated by law must give them to their offices as state property when they return to Thailand.
 
Mr. Wissanu pointed out that the National Anti-Corruption Commission must set up a unit to give clear answers to queries about this law. This would create better understanding among officials and set a standard in acting in compliance with the law. Penalties under this law include both imprisonment and fines.
 
He said that the law prohibits officials from approving government projects, or withdrawing ones case, for their own personal gain. Both officials and members of the private sector are prohibited from interfering in the appointment or transfer of officials for their own benefit.
 
Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Lieutenant General Sansern Kaewkumnerd said that the draft bill on conflict of interest came from that prepared by the National Reform Steering Assembly. It would encourage officials to uphold honesty and not to seek personal gain in performing their duties.
 
Formerly, he said, the law covered only political office-holders, but the draft bill would cover all government officials at all levels and positions, as well.
 
 
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