Regulators have power, making them a obvious target for expensive gifts from those in industries they regulate.
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Supinya calls for code of conduct on company gifts
A member of the broadcasting regulator wants it to draw up a clear code of conduct on gifts after a telecommunications giant gave her an iPhone.
National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) member Supinya Klangnarong said an executive presented an iPhone 4Gs with 64GB memory in a New Year gift basket but she rejected the offering. The basket also contained a Buddha image, coffee and fruits.
Companies also donated 21 expensive gifts including digital cameras and mobile phones for lucky draws at a New Year party at the NBTC.
Ms Supinya disclosed the offers of gifts to Isra News Centre on Tuesday after the issue had been widely discussed by commissioners.
She yesterday told the Bangkok Post that she would discuss the issue with other commissioners next Wednesday because the acceptance of such gifts might cause a conflict of interest and violate a regulation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) that prohibits a government official from receiving a gift worth more than 3,000 baht. "This issue is serious and affects the ethical image of the organisation," she said.
She said NBTC member Prawit Leesathaporn also agreed that the regulator should come up with a clear code of conduct.
Ms Supinya said the code of conduct could also provide a guide to commissioners' cars and overseas trips.
She said she would find out if staff at the NBTC office had been aware of the sources of gifts they had won in draws.
Suthipol Thaweechaigarn, another NBTC member, said he had not received a New Year gift basket because he had been on an overseas trip then.
He said NBTC executives and commissioners including him had been asked to donate gifts for lucky draws at the party. He had his subordinate buy a microwave oven worth about 4,000 baht and gave a bottle of wine to meet the request.
He said he did not know if any company had donated gifts to the party.
NBTC chairman ACM Thares Punsri said he used his own phone that he had acquired before taking office at the organisation.
Col Nathee Sukolrat, another NBTC member, said he and his wife used mobile phones they had bought themselves. However, he admitted to receiving a Buddha image from staff of the same telecommunications company that approached Ms Supinya.
NBTC secretary-general Thakorn Tanthasit said commission executives traditionally donated New Year gifts for the lucky draws to boost the morale of staff and the NBTC office did not request gifts from any outside party.
"Outside parties attended the party and brought presents for the lucky draws voluntarily. Those were not requested. Donors handed rewards to the party organising committee directly and the NBTC's office and secretary-general did not know what the presents were and how much they cost," Mr Thakorn said via his Twitter account.
NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said authorities should consider if donations came from any companies about to join a bidding contest of the organisation that received the donations.
code – rules of proper behaviour for a particular job, organisation, etc. มาตรการ, กฎเกณฑ์, ระเบียบ
code of conduct – rules of proper behaviour for a particular job, organisation, etc.
broadcasting – sending out a programme on television or radio การกระจายเสียง, การกระจายข่าว
regulator – an official or group who makes certain that the companies who operate a system work effectively and fairly ผู้มีอำนาจควบคุม
draw up – to make or write something that needs careful thought or planning ร่าง
telecommunications – the science and technology of sending information by telephone, radio, or television โทรคมนาคม
telecommunications giant – a very large company in the telecommunciations industry
commission – an official group of people who have been given responsibility to control something, or to find out about something, usually for the government คณะกรรมการ, คณะกรรมาธิการ
executive – a senior manager in a business or other organisation ผู้บริหาร
reject – to not agree with a request, offer or proposal ปฏิเสธ ไม่ยอมรับ
offering – something made available or able to be given to someone สิ่งที่ถวายให้, ของขวัญ
donate – to give something such as money or goods to an organisation, especially to a charity, school, political party, etc. บริจาค
draw – to choose a card, ticket or gift without seeing what is on it or what it is จับ (ฉลาก)
disclose – to give information to people เปิดเผย
issue – a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
conflict of interest – a situation in which someone cannot make a fair decision because they will be affected by the results ผลประโยชน์ทับซ้อน
violate – to do something that is against a law, rule or agreement ฝ่าฝืน, ละเมิด
regulation – an official rule that controls the way that things are done กฎระเบียบ
National Anti-Corruption Commission – An independent government organisation to investigate corruption carried out by government officials ปปช. (สำนักคณะกรรมการป้องกันและปราบปรามการทุจริตแห่งชาติ)
prohibit – to not allow; to ban ห้าม
ethical – involving the principles used for deciding what is right and what is wrong ตามหลักจรรยา
image – an opinion that people have about someone or something ภาพลักษณ์
guide (or guidelines) – official instructions or advice about how to do something สิ่งที่ช่วยแนะแนวทางให้ปฏิบัติ
aware – to know that something exists, or to have knowledge or experience of a particular thing ทราบ
source – the place or person something comes from แหล่ง
subordinate – someone who has less power or authority than someone else ผู้ใต้บังคับบัญชา สมุน
admit – to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy, sorry or surprised about it ยอมรับ
approach – to speak to somebody about something, especially to ask them for something or to offer to do something เข้าหา
traditionally – of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time ตามธรรมเนียม, ประเพณี ดั้งเดิม ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
boost the morale – to increase the amount of enthusiasm that a person or group of people feel about their situation at a particular time สร้่างขวัญกำลังใจ
party – one of the people or groups of people involved in an official argument, arrangement or similar situation คู่กรณี
voluntarily – done because you choose to do it rather than because you have to ด้วยความสมัครใจ
donor – a person who gives money or goods to an organisation, especially one that helps people ผู้บริจาค
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
bidding – offering to buy something at a specific price การยื่นเสนอราคา