Good Governance Promotion Clinic: A New Innovation for Corruption Prevention
Dr. Juree Vichit-Vadakan, Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption and Misconduct Sub-Committee of the National Anti-Corruption Administration Centre (NACAC), announced an important new mechanism called The Good Governance Promotion Clinic to help prevent the misuse, abuse and corruption of the special budget expenditures authorized by the Ministry of Finance in accordance with the Emergency Decree in 2021 to remedy and restore the economy and society affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), as Secretariat of the NACAC, is responsible for implementing the Good Governance Promotion Clinic through a host of activities with cooperating partners such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), the Auditor General of Thailand, the Provincial Governance Committee, the Department of Special Investigation (DSI), the Ministry of Interior, quasi-civil society organisations such as the Community Organisation Council, the Community Organisation Development Institute and other civil society groups.
The Good Governance Promotion Clinic is based on the premise that certain cases classified as corruption occurred due to the lack of, or poor understanding of, or poor oversight, or inexperience with the complex government rules and regulations involved with managing grants and projects. Such cases do not involve actual misuse or abuse of public funds, but because they are in violation of official regulations are considered corruption cases.
The Clinic provides officials from the PACC to visit, advise and exchange ideas in a friendly consultation with project operators around the country. PAAC's various partners would bring their expertise to provide the needed assistance that the PACC alone may not be able to carry out fully. This new and innovative mechanism started in October 2020 and, as of October 28, 2021, the Clinic has made field visits as well as given counsels to 270 projects in 67 provinces. The suggestions and recommendations provided by the Clinic to the project owners have enabled them to abide by official guidelines before the budget disbursement process thus preventing any wrongdoing. However, cases of suspected wrongdoing and corruption will be forwarded for investigation by responsible parties.
Dr. Juree added that the Sub-Committee's activities as well as the overall performance of the NACAC will henceforth be communicated to both Thais and foreigners on an ongoing basis because the fight against corruption requires the synergy from all peoples in society. In addition, the public needs to know what measures and activities are in place to help prevent corruption and spare the public the sense of discouragement, cynicism, and pessimism that the presence of corruption often evokes.