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Justice Ministry’s temp staff hangs in the balance

Justice Ministry’s temp staff hangs in the balance

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017

The Justice Ministry is scrambling to maintain the positions of 2,777 temporary employees who face termination at the end of this fiscal year due to an evaporated state fund.

Deputy permanent secretary Thawatchai Thaikiew said on Friday the ministry would after this year no longer have a designated budget to pay the temporary staff in eight departments.
The ministry has been spending Bt454 million a year to pay the 2,777 temporary employees from a budget amassed through interest on funds deposited in banks by people filing lawsuits with the Legal Execution Department (LED). 
But ministry policy now calls for the LED to auction off seized assets and return cash deposits to people filing suit more quickly, and at the same time the government is promoting online payments that would bypass the LED. 
Without the bank deposits, there is no longer income from the interest to hire temporary staff, Thawatchai said.
A proposal for a separate budget to cover the employees’ pay through fiscal 2018 was rejected, he said, so the ministry was seeking other solutions. It is asking the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission and Office of the Civil Service Commission to approve more civil-servant positions at provincial justice offices. 
It is also asking the Comptroller General’s Department to assist in postponing adoption of national e-payments for the Justice Ministry pending resolution of the matter.