Ten candidates were shortlisted yesterday for the Senate's final round of selecting a new board to monitor the performance of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).
Somkiat: Does not trust NTC committee
The candidates were chosen from 67 qualified applicants in a secret vote.
The Senate will finalise the five-member board at a meeting on Friday.
The five members will each represent a different category _ radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, telecommunications, consumer protection, and freedom of communications.
The shortlist consists of Anant Worathitipong, Amornthep Jirathiticharoen, Thawatchai Samutsakhon, Laksami Srisompet, Pichai Utamapinant, Jiradech Kotcharat, Pantarat Chantrapanya, Prasert Apipunya, Boonyawat Khruahong and Jadet Insawang.
Pichian Amnartworaprasert, an unsuccessful candidate in the television category, said the Senate rushed the selection process and he was considering petitioning the Administration Court to rule against the results.
In another development, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) president Somkiat Tangkitvanich yesterday refused to give a statement to a panel set up by NBTC's National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to probe allegations of price collusion among 3G licence bidders.
The TDRI chief said the scope of the investigation was flawed.
He said the problem of the 2.1GHz spectrum auction was the structure of the auction designed by the NTC and the reference price, not the behaviour of the bidders.
By investigating the bidders' actions, the committee was distorting facts and misleading the public, he said.
He also said that he lacked confidence in certain members of the probe committee.
Mr Somkiat said he had worked with these individuals before and found they did not act in the public interest.
These individuals have a vital role in the inquiry, which made him question the committee's integrity, he said.
Mr Somkiat also said he did not want his information to be used or distorted to justify the probe's findings.
He said the telecom committee had claimed the structure of the auction was based on a proposal made by a sub-panel, where academics, including Mr Somkiat's friends, served as members.
He said it was not quite true because the change in key bidding parameters was made by the telecom committee itself.
Meanwhile, the NBTC yesterday clarified claims it had spent an unusually large amount of money on public relations, blaming it on a typographical error.
NBTC secretary-general Thakorn Tantasit said the office spent only 3.65 million baht, not 13.28 million baht as stated on its website.
Mr Thakorn said one advertising purchase was mistyped as 10.7 million baht, rather than the real figure of 1.07 million baht.
NBTC Watch, which monitors how the regulatory body spends its funds, alleged irregularities in the NBTC's public relations spending. The watchdog claimed the agency allocated more than 128 million baht for public relations projects from June to October this year, including buying advertising in Matichon Group media outlets.
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Writer: Mongkol Bangprapa & Manop Thip-Osod