PRIME MINISTER Prayut Chan-o-cha deserve top marks on anti-corruption, according to the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand (ACT) which said it has saved 25 per cent of the national budget in the seven years of its operations.
Pramon Sutivong, ACT chairman, said that he gave full marks to Prayut but conceded that their close relationship have aroused suspicion and this is a problem aside from the bureaucratic system.
Once a policy is set, given the limitations and conditions of the bureaucratic system, it may take some time to transform an organisation, he said.
Throughout the seven years of Pramon's work in ACT, starting before the Prayut-led government, moves against corruption were hampered by low government cooperation with the organisation. It changed when the current government took power, he said.
This government has given cooperation to anti-corruption activities and has introduced several measures to lessen corruption, however, it is still not enough, he said.
Briberies have reduced sharply due to frequent inspections on possible corruption but if the inspection system weakens, corruption will rise , he said.
In response to the question on ACT's participation in the inspection of the government's construction projects, Pramon said the organisation's qualified observers have taken part in examining key projects and the ACT helped lower the budget by 25 per cent, he said.In regard to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Prawit Wongsuwan's luxury watches, Pramon said that he has urged and found the way to proceed this matter with the related persons, asking the media to follow up this delayed matter with the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)'s inspection. ACT has earlier sent a letter asking about this matter.
"I've seen that this matter has been reflected by the society and now, what we can do is waiting for the formal result from the NACC which has not yet identified the certain schedule," Pramon said.