NACC denies Chavarat let off in probe

NACC denies Chavarat let off in probe

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) on Friday defended its handling of a probe into a scandal over a computer leasing project worth 3.49 billion baht, saying its ruling was based on evidence alone.

NACC secretary-general Worawit Sukboon spoke out to clarify the anti-graft agency's role after media reports suggested it had been pressured into dropping the charge against a politician while proceeding to indict officials implicated in the scandal.

The probe focused on former interior minister Chavarat Charnvirakul and former interior permanent secretary Manit Wattanasen, who were accused of corruption in the computer leasing project under the Abhisit Vejjajiva-led government in 2009-2010.

Mr Chavarat is the father of Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul.

The project rented computers for a population registry and issuance of smart ID cards. The NACC concluded the probe early this year.

Mr Worawit said the investigation found no evidence to prove that Mr Chavarat and Mr Manit were involved in irregularities. The pair set up committees to vet the project before signing it off.

He said the NACC found two former senior interior officials had committed serious disciplinary offences by approving the leasing project despite the equipment failing to meet technical requirements in the terms of reference (ToR). The two men were accused of negligence of duty causing damage to the state.

He said four officials who worked on the bidding committee had acted without authority in ordering the technical committee to test the equipment. The testing did not comply with the project's ToR. The other five officials on the project's technical committee had failed to comply with the ToR, he added. He said the findings had been forwarded to authorities for further action.


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