The Cabinet recently approved a bill seeking to encourage and protect people working in anti-corruption efforts. The bill, proposed by the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, has been forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly for consideration.
Under the bill, a committee would be formed to promote and protect the people in the fight against corruption. The committee, to be chaired by the Secretary-General of the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission, would comprise representatives from the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor General of Thailand, and the Ministry of Justice, as well as members of the people’s sector or civil society.
The committee would be responsible for setting policies and criteria to encourage the people to form into groups in order to take part in anti-corruption campaigns. They would also be urged to provide information about suspected corruption and malpractice.
Measures will be set to protect and help anti-corruption networks in the people’s sector. For instance, people who provide information about suspected corruption must not be treated unfairly. They and other persons with close relations to them will be provided with protection. Lawyers will be arranged to offer legal advice for them, if a lawsuit is filed against them.
Moreover, an anti-corruption coordinating center will be established at the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission. The center will support the operations of the committee and the anti-corruption networks in the people’s sector, as well as providing education about corruption to the people.
Budget allocations will be offered to support the anti-corruption campaigns and the protection of the people who provide information about suspected corruption.
The bill also seeks to increase penalties against those who intimidate or commit criminal acts against the people who inform authorities about suspected corruption, who treat them unfairly, or exert influence over their work.