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Auditor-general warns against misuse of travel budget

Aug 18. 2017
Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas
Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas
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By The Nation

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Auditor-General Pisit Leelavachiropas on Friday warned staff of local administrative agencies that their salaries would be cut and they could face prosecution if trips they undertook were not in line with the stated purpose.

The Office of Auditor-General (OAG) has sent letters to the Interior and Defence ministries to scrutinise budget spending of local administrative organisations following reports that some employees had been offered a subsidised trip to Bangkok to support Yingluck Shinawatra. The former prime minister will next week hear the final verdict from the Supreme Court over the rice pledging scheme.

Pisit said the Office only wanted to prevent misuse of the state budget. 

Every year, local administrations are allocated a budget for field trips or educational tours, he explained. But it was reported that the budget allocated for trips to other events in Bangkok had been exploited to fund travel to the Supreme Court’s Criminal Division for Political Office Holders, which heard the Yingluck case, Pisit said. 

The Office wanted the notification letter it had sent to be a norm for all agencies to abide by the rules and regulations. 

Spending should not be to serve a private purpose or disturb peace in society, the auditor-general said, adding that now some agencies were holding up field trips and opening the way for the Office to inspect.

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