State Audit Office begins Thai Airways operations audit
Probe into B6.8bn in losses intensifies
The State Audit Office (SAO) will begin auditing Thai Airways International's (THAI) balance sheet and financial statements and review the board's transparency in operating the flag carrier on Friday, the government says.
Deputy Transport Minister Thaworn Senneam said he had invited the SAO to join the ministry's investigation into factors that contributed to the 6.8-billion-baht loss incurred by THAI in the first half of this year.
"The ministry will wait for the SAO to release its findings before we issue a set of recommendations for THAI to follow," he said.
Mr Thaworn also said he plans to meet with THAI employees to see what can be done to stem the losses and improve efficiency.
"One explanation that I was given blamed the strong baht for the losses," he said. "This still needs to be proved and further elaborated."
"While the baht's appreciation is contributing to THAI's losses, there are other factors which we still need to determine," Mr Thaworn said.
He reminded everyone that the state owns more than 50% of THAI's shares, so the airline's rehabilitation was "everyone's business".
"THAI has continuously reported losses, so the public has grown accustomed to it," he said.
A source at the ministry, meanwhile, revealed that a recent report on good governance submitted by a senior THAI staff member showed that more than 200 staff surveyed believed the flag carrier is not being managed in a transparent manner.
The study also found evidence of graft in the firm's outsourcing, said the source, before adding the report alleges THAI is paying outsourced workers up to 30% more than its own staff.