Two-way pact reached to thwart bribery
Public, private reps map up steps to ensure transparent procurement process
A so-called integrity pact will be created as part of joint public-private efforts to prevent bribery in the government procurement process.
Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said yesterday that the Comptroller-General's Department and representatives from state and private agencies and the National Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday agreed on the plan. State agencies and contractors would sign the pact to ensure that the procurement process is undertaken transparently. Outsiders will witness the signing.
The Finance Ministry called the meeting in response to mounting concern by many parties about possible corruption in connection to the government's plan to spend more than Bt2 trillion on infrastructure projects. Kittiratt himself, who is also a deputy prime minister, is chairman of the Anti-Corruption Cooperation Committee.
On Thursday, Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said he supported the proposal that those involved in state construction projects be required to sign an "agreement of virtue" promising not to accept or offer bribes, in a bid to push forward the government's Bt2.27-trillion infrastructure investment plan. Chadchart was the first to say that all projects undertaken by units under his ministry would be subject to the integrity pact.
Among the pilot projects proposed under the anti-graft campaign would be the Bt13-billion procurement of 3,183 buses for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, the second-phase construction project for Suvarnabhumi Airport worth Bt50 billion to Bt60 billion, and motorway expansion, the transport minister said.
Kittiratt said: "Collaboration between the state and private sectors marks an important step in preventing corruption." He added that the Finance Ministry would propose this pact for Cabinet's consideration.
He said the fight against corruption should be on the national agenda with the private sector invited to participate in this mission. He added that the anti-graft campaign should not be confined to mega-projects but should also be aimed at small projects in the provinces.