Thailand: PM to resolve assets rule row

  • The government will resolve the controversy surrounding a new regulation announced by the anti-graft agency that requires senior civil servants to declare their assets and liabilities, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
  • Gen Prayut said 6 Nov 18 he had ordered Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngam to discuss a solution to the regulation and its effect on civil servants with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
  • He said the issue was a hot topic at the cabinet meeting on 6 Nov 18, and the problem could not be ignored because more civil servants will be required to declare their assets under the new regulation.
  • The immediate concern is that university council members affected by the new rule are set to quit their jobs, Gen Prayut said.
  • There is still time to solve the problem because the new regulation will not take effect until 2 Dec 18.
  • Education Minister Teerakiat Jareonsettasin urged university council members to delay their resignation decisions. The government has acknowledged the problem and is trying to find a way around it, he said.
  • “Some council members receive a monthly meeting allowance of only THB2, 000 but they will now have to deal with the burden of submitting declarations of their assets,” Dr Teerakiat said.
  • The regulation was issued under a new anti-corruption law which authorises the NACC to order political office holders, Constitutional Court judges, members of independent bodies, the Ombudsman, state officials, their spouses and children, including those who are not yet of age, to submit declarations of their assets and debts to the NACC.
  • Most office holders who are required to submit to the regulation are senior officials holding the ranks of ministerial deputy permanent secretaries, department deputy directors-general, deputy university rectors and other officials holding equivalent positions.

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