Public-private sectors agree on transparency in gov’t projects


BANGKOK, Feb 7 – Thailand’s Transport Ministry and the independent Anti-Corruption Organisation (ACO) agreed today to launch a concrete attempt to fight corruption in Thailand given the government’s planned budget of Bt2.2 trillion (about US$7.4 million) for infrastructure development.

Transport Minister Chatchart Sittipan and Anti-Corruption Chairman Pramon Sutheewong said a ‘virtue agreement’ will be released, compelling stakeholders, including civil servants, political appointees, heads of government offices and private investors to sign before the start of a bidding process.

They must clearly state their willingness to disclose information and operate their businesses transparently, Mr Chatchart said.

Mr Pramon said that private investors who fail to sign the agreement will be barred from bidding on the project.

Permanent Secretary for Transport Vichien Poteposri was assigned to work on the draft virtue agreement and submit it to the transport minister for approval. Drafting should take about a month.

They also agreed that an observation committee must be set up to inspect and follow up projects to ensure transparency from the stage acquisition to drafting of terms of agreement, bidding and construction.

Mr Pramon described the joint agreement as a stepping stone towards major change in fighting corruption in Thailand.