S44 order to vet police appointments
Section 44 has been invoked to establish committees to screen senior police appointments and enable the Justice Ministry's anti-corruption centre to receive any complaints about the appointments.
An order under the section has been issued and published in the Royal Gazette, with immediate effect, containing two key elements intended to streamline the process of considering and approving the promotions of police holding the ranks of commanders or higher.
The order authorises the police chief or someone he or she assigns, who is at least a commissioner, to approve senior appointments.
But before the appointments are finalised and approved, the names of officers shortlisted for promotions must be vetted by a screening panel of their respective units.
After the vetting, the names of officers will be forwarded to a central screening committee including the police inspector-general and deputy national police chiefs.
In the end, the police chief or his representative will pick the list of promotions from the central committee for approval.
The order under Section 44 also gives power to the Justice Ministry's anti-corruption centre to act as the official channel to receive any complaints about senior police promotions.
Pol Col Krissana Pattanacharoen, the Royal Thai Police (RTP) deputy spokesman, said the RTP was ready to comply with the order which makes clear the process of vetting the promotions and the police chief's role in approving the appointments in the interests of a more transparent system.
The guideline will be useful for considering and approving the appointments, which also helps increase transparency that paves the way for police reform, he said.
Pol Gen Rungroj Saengkram, deputy national police chief studying police reform, said the details of the order must be looked at carefully but only time will tell whether it will help prevent position-buying within the police force.
Pol Col Wirut Sirisawadibut, former adviser to the now-defunct National Reform Council's police reform committee, said the change might help prevent position-buying to a certain extent.