Strategy laid out to guard relief spend

Strategy laid out to guard relief spend

Corruption fears over B400bn fund

The Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has proposed four measures for preventing corruption in the planned spending of 400 billion baht set aside for funding Covid-19 related rehabilitation projects.

The measures were proposed at yesterday's meeting of the National Anti-Corruption Centre, said PACC secretary-general Pol Lt Col Wannop Somjintanakul in his capacity as secretary-general of the centre.

First, each project will be required to disclose to the public its details including the project's spending and progress to allow public scrutiny and ensure accountability, he said.

Second, before any projects are permitted to be implemented, they are required to pass a risk assessment by the Anti-Corruption Operation Centre whose results are required to be endorsed by the National Anti-Corruption Centre.

Third, in cases of suspected acts of corruption being detected, the National Anti-Corruption Centre will launch an investigation before the project is implemented, during its implementation and afterwards too.

Lastly, timely and fair legal action will be ensured for state officials proved to have been involved in administrative, disciplinary or criminal misconduct linked with corruption in any of these Covid-19 rehabilitation projects, he said.

Wannop

Members of the public are now encouraged to visit the PACC's website in which details of the projects are published along with communication channels made available for them to report any irregularities, Pol Lt Col Wannop said.

Previously, the PACC had inspected procurements of medical supplies and Covid-19 prevention equipment by 73 local administration organisations in 37 provinces and found irregularities at 28 of the organisations in 17 provinces.

The two most common irregularities found were buying at inflated prices and buying without providing price referencing or with false price referencing, according to Pol Lt Col Wannop.

Of these suspected corruption cases, three have already been investigated by the PACC and further legal action will be pursued against the suspects.

The PAAC will next examine these Covid-19 cash programmes to see if the organisations had strictly followed the Interior Ministry's regulations to whom and how these organisations are permitted to provide financial assistance.


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