Security agency set for image makeover

Security agency set for image makeover

The government is to restructure the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) by increasing the number of agencies under its supervision, in line with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's intention to remove its military-dominated image.

The plan was revealed on Monday by an official, who asked not to be named, in a circulated cabinet resolution, although it did specifically refer to it being the prime minister's idea.

The document only referred to the cabinet which resolved last Tuesday to have authorities work on a proposal to increase the number of Isoc agencies from 12 to 18.

The cabinet wants Isoc to "carefully consider" the additional establishments as well as changes in manpower to bring it in line with the 20-year national strategy.

The restructuring is expected to lead to better work, but according to the cabinet resolution, Isoc officials must also be more budget conscious as agencies, including the Office of the Civil Service Commission, recommended against Isoc increasing the number of people it employs.

The move comes after Gen Prayut last year expressed a desire to modernise the agency.

"The prime minister wants Isoc to be made up of civil servants, police and soldiers, not purely military," the official source said.

Without this combination, Isoc is likely to remain being viewed as a "tool of the army", the source said, adding that up to 770 military personnel work in the agency, leaving only 200 positions to police and civil servants.

Reportedly the new ratio of soldiers, police and civil servants is suggested as 2:1:1.

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