Officers of the Public Health Ministry have been forbidden from charging their mobile phones at work as a series of measures were put in place to prevent corruption and conflict of interest.
The December 29, 2017 announcement from the Public Health Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Office was widely circulated throughout social media this week, as people asked whether the measures were absurd, particularly singling out the phone-charging ban.
The announcement, signed by Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsuk, the ministry’s permanent secretary, said it would enforce the following regulations among all of its officers:
- all officers are forbidden from using any of the authorities’ equipment for personal use
- no officer may charge their private mobile phones at work
- any private use of the office’s vehicles is banned
- private vehicles may not be parked overnight in the office’s parking lots
- private vehicles may not be washed at the office.
The announcement cited the necessity of tackling corruption within the authority and preventing officers from improperly take personal advantage by using the authorities’ property.
According to the announcement, those who violate these rules will be guilty of disciplinary offences and will have to face punishment matching the offence.
The memo also reminded executives of the ministry of their duty to set a good example for their subordinates and encouraged them to strictly enforce the new rules.
In September 2016, a strict anti-corruption bill, with similar rules including a ban on private phone-charging at work, was proposed by deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam. As of last August, the bill had been approved by the Cabinet and the process of drafting the laws was underway.