Thailand: The Digital Economy and Society Ministry creating 2 new agencies

  • The Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry plans to establish two new agencies and an institute by 2019 to ensure the ongoing digital transformation process.
  • A national cybersecurity agency and a national data protection agency are to be established by 2019, while the new institute, a government data analytics and management promotion institute, will be set by Jul 19.
  • DE Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj said establishment of the new organisations follows the same practice as in many other countries that transformed their operations and management under a digital economy development policy.
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has voiced concern over the state agencies’ awareness of cybersecurity literacy.
  • The premier recently ordered all 20 ministries to utilise their soft infrastructure for optimum benefit of the government, including through the use of cybersecurity and big data analytics.
  • Mr. Pichet said the government is driving development of laws related to the digital economy, including cybersecurity and data protection. Cybersecurity and data protection are at the stage of draft bills and have yet to be approved by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).
  • The cybersecurity draft bill is under consideration by the Council of the State before submission to the cabinet for approval. From there it will go to an NLA vote before taking effect.
  • The Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) is considering some details of the data protection draft bill before submitting it to the cabinet and the NLA for approval.
  • When the cybersecurity and data protection laws go into effect, the government through the DE Ministry will establish a national cybersecurity agency and national data protection agency as the major agencies to handle operations and regulatory tasks.
  • Initially, both national agencies will be under the operational structure of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) before splitting into new two agencies later.
  • Mr. Pichet said the proposed government data analytics and management promotion institute is now being considered by the OPDC before submission to the cabinet for approval, and the whole process will be completed within the next two months, as it does not require approval from the NLA.
  • The institute will facilitate big data development, including offering consulting and suggestions about big data development to all state agencies, setting training courses, cultivating data scientists and promoting big data procedures.

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