NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai inspects construction of the new parliament building.
NLA president Pornpetch Wichitcholchai inspects construction of the new parliament building.

Parliament set to cut Bt8bn IT budget

politics May 18, 2018 06:46

By The Nation

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The Bt8-billion budget to install IT equipment in the newly constructed parliament building must reportedly be decreased after the Cabinet refused to approve it.



The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) president, Pornpetch Wichitcholchai, on Thursday said that the budget, originally set to be around Bt3 billion, almost tripled following plans to install equipment such as microphones, voting machines and security systems.

The IT budget had been cut out once in 2013 when the then-Cabinet approved a Bt12-billion overall budget to construct the building.

“My duty is only to conduct the construction project to move forward. I have no authority to order or infringe on any operation,” Pornpethc said

“However, as there are complaints about too expensive procurement, I might ask them to consider decreasing the budget and also perhaps to tone down the expected quality of equipment,” he added.

Today’s meeting should resolve by how much the budget would be deducted, said Lower House secretary general Sorasak Peinwet.

“Some technology considered too costly today might become cheap in just a year or two,” Sorasak said. “If they said the microphones and clocks are too expensive, I will adjust the prices.”

He was referring to microphones and clocks, budgeted at Bt170,000 and Bt70,000 respectively, originally proposed to be equipped in the building with “advanced technologies”.

The microphones would be installed with a fingerprint scanning system to facilitate voting procedures while the clocks were supposed to be highly precise.