Auditor General’s Office no longer hearing complaints about rice mortgage

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BANGKOK, 5 September 2013 The Office of the Auditor General has announced it will no longer hear complaints about suspected corruption in the rice mortgage scheme. 

Auditor General’s Office spokesperson Rakkecha Chaechai explained that the ceasing of complaint hearing was due to the office having determined that it was the Cabinet’s power to carry out the policies it had declared to Parliament. The Auditor General thus has no authority to rule on the rice mortgage scheme. However, the office has found that there were corruption problems in the implementation of the scheme, and has suggested that the government fix such problems for the next pledging season. Issues touched on by the office included the duration of the mortgage period, prevention of using imported rice to enter the program, quality and quantity monitoring of rice in warehouses and more transparent means of releasing rice from stock.

According to the spokesman, the office has in its possession evidences implicating companies and individuals involved in corruptions in the rice mortgage program, and these evidences have been forwarded to the National Anti Corruption Commission.