The opening ceremony for the ASEAN Executive Governance Program took place yesterday at the Amari Water Gate Hotel. The Office of Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) of Thailand is hosting the week-long workshop until The 31st of August, in which delegates from the respective ASEAN countries participate.
Dr. Thosaporn Sirisumphand, Director-General of OPDC, welcomed the countries and World Bank specialists, expressing the desire to reform Thailand’s public sector to make public services transparent and effective. According to him, ASEAN countries have established a solid blueprint for the ASEAN community, but the challenge will be to apply it to each country. The key ideas behind the workshop will be to create a common understanding on the notion of ‘good governance’ and to define common issues, in order to improve governance for the integration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Mr. Soren Daviden, Senior Governance Specialist of the World Bank, set the workshop in motion by addressing the principles of governance convergence and harmonization. He then discussed a framework for ‘good governance convergence’ within the ASEAN community. The seminar was followed by an orientation of objectives and focuses of the program by Dr. Kongkiti Phusavat, Associate Professor at Kasetsart University, who said the OPDC, under the Prime Minister’s office, focused on four key elements based on the 2003 Good Governance Act of Thailand, including new public management, democratic value, participatory state, and administrative responsibility. He further focused on the practicality and performance of service delivery in the public sector.
In view of Thailand’s progress, a committee has been established to proceed with matters concerning the ASEAN Political – Security Community (APSC), which has been assigned by the OPDC to ‘promote good governance’, build civil service capability, and promote corporate social responsibility; adding that the principle of ‘transparency’, quality and efficiency of service delivery will be based on citizens’ feedback procedures and output-based performance rating systems.
Governance in accordance with the ASEAN Blue Print was a discussion led by Mr. Shabih Ali Mohib, Senior Economist from the World Bank. The key concept discussed was good governance and how it could be realistically applied to respective government bodies, in order to provide a stable platform for the convergence and integration of the fast approaching AEC. The general consensus of delegates was that individual competency of countries should be recognized to know what truly could be offered to the region. A problem -solving approach will also occur through developing a network that assists in establishing mutual concerns between governments.
High-level officials from the Bureau of Budget of Thailand mentioned that training staff and seeking ways of implementing service delivery policies are critical.
Through the ASEAN Workshop on the New Era for Public Sector Reform in ASEAN Community, OPDC hopes that there will be knowledge exchange and collaborative relations. To prioritize governance principles, make them practical and relate them to service performance and delivery.