Graft busters offer protection, big rewards
PHUKET: The Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) held a seminar in Phuket on Thursday (April 19) to promote new regulations.
Saturday 21 April 2012, 03:03PM
These include a witness protection programme and rewards for witnesses who provide information leading to convictions for corruption.
Speakers at the seminar, attended by around 150 government officials and members of the public, encouraged people to come forward with information on corruption they have experienced and rely on the NACC to follow through fearlessly.
A member of the NACC, Wichai Wiwitsevi, said that the commission would focus on cases involving officials who have become rich rapidly because “there is tangible evidence”.
“The NACC has around 600 officials yet it seems that’s not enough because of the increasing number of corruption cases in recent years,” said Mr Wichai. “So we need members of the public to cooperate with us to root out corruption in Thailand.”
Most recent complaints to the NACC involve officials of local authorities such as municipalities and tambon administration organisatioons, or OrBorTor.
Many other reports received by the NACC involve biased treatment of junior officials by their superiors, or unfair treatment of members of the public. Bribes are repeatedly mentioned in reports.
The NACC’s brief extends to investigating officials suspected of embezzling government funds.
In Phuket, Mr Wichai said, most complaints received relate to corruption over land transactions.
According to the new regulations, witnesses fearing for their safety can request protection from the NACC. If the NACC believes the request is rational and credible, it will provide protection.
In urgent cases the NACC is empowered to provide protection with immediate effect.
Witness who provide information leading to a conviction for corruption will be entitled to rewards equivalent to 10 per cent of the money seized, up to a maximum of B10 million. The reward will be paid when the accused person is convicted by a court.
The new regulations stipulate that NACC investigators will receive no part of any reward, as part of rules designed to create a new incorruptible image of officials.