NBTC code of conduct on agenda

Economy March 09, 2012 00:00

By THE NATION

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Key members of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunica-tions Commission agree that the establishment of a code of conduct should be discussed at the next board meeting on Wednesday.



Among those calling for the discussion yesterday were vice chairmen Settapong Malisuwan and Natee Sukonrat. Ethical concerns have been raised by some NBTC members after a cellular operator dispatched New Year gift baskets.

Commissioner Prawit Leesata-pornwongsa said he might propose that the NBTC board draft the new code based on that of the watchdog’s predecessor the National Telecommunications Commission, which was published in the Royal Gazette in 2005.

The NTC code of conduct contains 16 clauses. Clause 10 says its members must not demand assets or benefits whether for their own interest or for other people.

It is widely hoped by the public that the 11 members of the NBTC will observe utmost transparency and avoid any action that could lead to charges of conflict of interest, given that the commission oversees the multibillion-baht telecom and broadcasting industries.

Controversy erupted after NBTC commissioner Supinya Klangnarong recently disclosed that one cellular operator had brought a gift basket to her during the New Year festival. The basket contained a Buddha image and an iPhone 4S. She declined to accept the iPhone, saying it risked violating the law and ethical provisions.

When interviewed by Isra News Agency yesterday, Advanced Info Service chief executive officer Wichian Mektrakarn said AIS sent New Year gift baskets with Buddha images to NBTC commissioners but he had no idea whether they contained mobile devices.

Settapong said yesterday that he accepted only the Buddha image, while Natee said he did not see |anything in the basket except the image.