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Six sub-committees to draft strategy

Six sub-committees to draft strategy

SATURDAY, September 30, 2017

A NATIONAL STRATEGY would be completed by early next year and come into effect in mid-2018, Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said on Saturday.  His comment came after the government published the names of 70 people appointed to six sub-strategy committees in the Royal Gazette on Thursday. 
The six sub-strategy committees would draft strategies relating to national security, national competitiveness, human resources development, social equality, the environment and public-sector management. The committees have a five-year term. 
The committee appointments follow the promulgation of the new National Strategy Act and they would work under a super-board for national strategy chaired by Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha.
The new charter, proclaimed this year, for the first time calls for a long-term national strategy of 20 years alongside national reform plans.
Wissanu said he would meet with the chairman of each sub-committee to help them prepare for the process of formulating each sub-strategy. 
Each committee is required to hold public hearings as part of their planning, and must finish their plan and submit it within 120 days – by January 2018 – to the national strategy super-board. That body would evaluate and merge the sub-strategies and send them on to the Cabinet for approval. If approved, the strategy plan would then be sent to the National Legislative Assembly and come into effect by middle of next year, he said.
Asked why the government appointed Chadchart Sittipunt, former transport minister in the Yingluck Shinawatra government, Wissanu replied that he did not know who proposed Chadchart but that the prime minister had agreed with the list. He said that the appointment has nothing to do with the political reconciliation objectives of the government. 
“We don’t look at the political camp or ideology of [committee members], but we consider who has time and is willing to work with the government,” said Wissanu.
The government had contacted many people, with some turning down the invitation, citing their lack of time, said Wissanu. 
Those who are appointed to the list of the national strategy committee could also be appointed to other positions since law does not prohibit them. However, if they are elected as house representatives or appointed as senators, they would be expected to resign from a strategy committee, said Wissanu.
Asked what the national strategy committee would do if a newly elected government chose not follow the strategies, Wissanu said that if some government agencies failed to follow the strategies, the national strategy board would complain to the Cabinet. 
In the event that the Cabinet did not follow the strategies, the strategy board would petition to Parliament and if Parliament agreed with the national strategy board, the case would be forwarded to the National Anti-Corruption Commission. 
The strategies could be changed, said Wissanu in response to a concern about dual government and whether the 20-year strategy would limit the capacity of new government.