Top officials told to amend govt rules that pose obstacles
The National Council for Peace and Order has started what is seen by observers as the first step towards legal reform.
It has ordered 19 ministries to overhaul the present regulations and submit lists of bills with great impact on the public and which need to be passed into law urgently.
General Paibul Khumchaya, assistant Army chief and head of the legal affairs committee of the junta, yesterday morning held a meeting of permanent secretaries and department chiefs as well as legal affairs officials from 19 ministries and the PM’s Office at the Army headquarters.
Paibul issued policies given by NCPO chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha to these top officials to amend government rules and regulations that pose obstacles to implementation or laws that leave loopholes for unjust interference.
The aim of the amendment is also to facilitate business operations and transactions, including bridging disparities, in maximum public interest.
He instructed senior officials to compile lists of their ministries’ urgent bills and prioritise them so that the most urgent ones are passed into law.
The lists must be submitted to the Justice Ministry by Friday, Paibul said. The ministry acts as secretary for the legal affairs committee of the National Council for Peace and Order.
At the meeting, laws and regulations that are under consideration for amendment are classified into three groups: First – laws that present far-reaching impact on the public and are regarded as urgent. These laws would be endorsed as NCPO orders.
The second group of legislation covers bills under legislative procedures or bills that had received Cabinet approval pending scrutiny by the Council of State. The officials were asked to prioritise these bills and submit the lists of urgent bills to the NCPO, which will present them to a new legislative assembly for deliberation.
The third group of legislation covers bills which ministries are drafting. Officials will be asked to explain to the NCPO why these bills need to be legislated, Paibul said.
The meeting reportedly discussed a question from the Election Commission about the status of political parties after the NCPO endorsed order No 11 – to scrap the 2007 Constitution.
An NCPO source said all political parties had no legal status following the annulment of the charter. The NCPO has ordered its legal advisers, headed by Wissanu Krea-ngam, to scrutinise the advantages and disadvantages of the four constitutional organic laws before deciding whether they should be incorporated into an interim charter.
The four organic laws include: the Election of MPs and Senators Act, the Political Parties Act, the Public Referendum Act, and the Constitutional Court Procedures Act.
“If the advisers believed the laws were useful, they would be brought back into law with retroactive effect,’’ the source said.
He added that Wissanu is leading a legal team to draft an interim charter.
A source said the national legislative assembly will consisit of 200 appointed members while a reform council will have 150 members.