Bill passed to merge royal administration offices

Bill passed to merge royal administration offices

A new bill has been enacted to reorganise the six agencies serving the Crown, according to a source.

Lawmakers on Thursday approved in-camera the royal administration bill which the Cabinet had added to the meeting agenda.

The source said the new law restructured the agencies serving the palace.   

Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam told members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) the cabinet asked that the bill be deliberated in-camera. The sessions were no broadcast and non-members were asked to leave.

According to the source, the new structure will have three agencies serving the palace.

The Bureau of the Royal Household will be the merger of what are now the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private secretary and the Bureau of the Royal Household.

The Royal Guard Command merges the existing Royal Thai Aide-De-Camp Department and the Royal Guard Command.

The other agency is the new Office of the Privy Council.

Also on Thursday, the NLA approved a bill to transfer unused expenditure budgets in fiscal 2017 totalling 11.9 billion baht to the contingency budget for emergency use by the cabinet.

The top three ministries which saw the largest budget transfers were education (1.1 billion baht), interior (541.5 million) and public health (417.1 million) respectively.

The Defence Ministry saw 55.8 million of its budget moved.

Mr Wissanu explained the transfers aimed to optimise budget use since some ministries could not make procurements they intended to by March 2017. 

The bill was approved in three straight readings with a 207-0 vote and four abstentions.

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