Big names fail NBTC board selection

Big names fail NBTC board selection

The seven new members are expected to be announced by next month

Takorn: Failed to make shortlist
Takorn: Failed to make shortlist

Former National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) secretary-general Takorn Tantasith was among the big names who failed to make the shortlist of 14 candidates vying for seven board member positions at the NBTC, amid criticism of the selection criteria.

Mr Takorn, who was among 80 applicants for the positions, was projected by some to become the chairman of the new board.

The Office of the Senate Secretariat's NBTC board selection committee released the 14-name shortlist on Thursday, which was the third and final day of interviews and vision presentation sessions.

The 14 shortlisted candidates cover seven different fields required for the board, with two per field.

The fields consist of telecom, broadcasting, TV business, law, engineering, economics and consumer protection.

The Senate chooses the seven members, one per field.

Apart from Mr Takorn, former NBTC deputy secretary-general Korkij Danchaivichit and incumbent deputy secretary-general AM Thanapant Raicharoen both applied and failed to make the shortlist.

Vunnaporn Devahastin, secretary- general of the office of the National Digital Economy and Society Committee, was also left off.

The 14 shortlisted names comprise ACM Manat Wongwat and Orasa Muktier Purdy for broadcasting; Pirongrong Ramasoota and Jintanant Chaya Subhamitr for TV business; Athikom Roeksabutr and Kittisak Sriprasert for telecom; Somphop Purivigraipong and Arnon Tubtiang for engineering; Lt Tanakrit Akeyokaya and Jitnara Nawarat for law; Pakdee Manaves and Arayah Preechametta for economics; as well as Torpong Selanon and Pol Lt Gen Kiattipong Khawsam-ang for consumer protection.

The seven new board members are expected to be announced by next month.

Mr Takorn congratulated the 14 shortlisted candidates via his Twitter account. He was not available for comment.

Some disqualified candidates expressed doubts about the selection decision. One applicant who requested anonymity said some candidates were interviewed for almost 30 minutes and others up to seven minutes, although the committee formally allowed candidates to present their visions for five minutes and be interviewed for another five minutes.

"It seems the committee had a goal in mind before the interview," the failed candidate said.

A person close to Mr Takorn who requested anonymity said it is possible there was a concern Mr Takorn and those associated with him would dominate the board if they were selected.

Only Mr Pakdee, the incumbent deputy secretary-general of the NBTC, was among those with NBTC ties that were shortlisted.

Some candidates believed several big names in the NBTC and military failed to be shortlisted because the NBTC Act bars board members, executives or employees of juristic persons in broadcasting, TV and telecom businesses from applying for the job unless they quit the position for a year.

The NBTC Office owns and operates a radio station, FM98.5, while the military operates various radio stations. However, this does not explain why Mr Pakdee and ACM Manat, a former air force chief who retired from the post in September last year, were shortlisted.

A telecom veteran who requested anonymity said it is possible the recruitment process may be overturned by the Senate because of "several doubts" about the selection process.

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