Defence 'least transparent'

Defence 'least transparent'

State agencies handed C grades

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)'s annual Integrity and Transparency Assessment (ITA) ranked the Defence Ministry as the least transparent state agency. The assessment typically gives state agencies a "C" grade.

"Overall, the state agencies scored an average of 66.73 [out of 100] in the 2019 fiscal year," NACC secretary-general Warawit Sukboon said as he announced the transparency report for 8,299 government organisations. The 2019 fiscal year ended last month.

The "C" grade is disappointing, he said.

Under the 20-year national strategic plan, which took effect last year, 80% of state agencies are required to earn a score of at least 85 in the ITA before 2022, said NACC president Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit.

In the ITA ranking of individual ministries, the Finance Ministry topped the chart with a score of 90.04.

Ranked second was the Culture Ministry (89.59), followed by the Digital Economy and Society Ministry (89.44), the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry (88.45) and the Interior Ministry (88.19).

"The Defence Ministry received the lowest ministerial score of 85.05," said Mr Warawit.

The annual ITA has been conducted for the past seven years.

This year, only a handful of state agencies managed to meet the benchmark.

"Just 11.69%, or 970 organisations, were given an A or AA rating [for outstanding transparency performance]", Mr Warawit said.

The courts earned the highest score of 91.93, followed by state attorney offices (90.61) and agencies attached to parliament (90.35).

Special local administrative bodies scored lowest at 61.58. Included in this category are the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Pattaya City Hall.

In the ranking of state agencies by provincial clusters, provinces in the lower South outperformed the others. The highest average score of 71.58 went to Trang, Phatthalung and Satun plus the strife-torn provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla.

A group of eight northeastern provinces -- Chaiyaphum, Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram, Yasothon, Sri Sa Ket, Surin, Ubon Ratchathani and Amnat Charoen -- were given the lowest score of 59.3.

The NACC also assessed state agencies based on 10 criteria: preventing corruption, disclosing information, performing official duties, exercising power, spending budget, fulfilling working goals, solving corruption issues, managing state assets, conducting intra- and inter-organisational communication and improving work efficiency.

State agencies in the group of eight northeastern provinces received a low average score of 42 for preventing corruption and disclosing information.

However, the agencies did well in satisfying the remaining eight criteria -- performing official duties (88.72), exercising power (82.66), spending the budget (79.91), fulfilling work goals (79.6), solving corruption issues (79.24), managing state assets (78.21), conducting intra- and inter-organisational communication (77.74) and improving work efficiency (74.72).

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