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NRSA proposes ban on paying for officers’ overseas trips

The National Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) is set to propose only financing trips abroad for parliamentarians if they involve bilateral parliamentary meetings amid claims that overseas junkets for officers are draining the budget.

The NRSA political reform committee will recommend abolishing the annual allocation for officers’ overseas trips in a report on parliamentary function reforms during the NRSA meeting on Tuesday.
However, this would exempt trips to attend international or bilateral parliamentary meetings, which would still have to adhere strictly to official regulations.
Seri Suwanpanon, chairman of the said NRSA committee, said officers could still go on overseas trips but should pay for them out of their own pockets.
In the report, the NRSA committee reasoned that the officers’ overseas trips, which often include travel and leisure, had consumed large chunks of budget derived from public taxes.
“Every committee goes on the trips in every meeting session,” the report said. “Some officers work for more than one committee, causing the parliamentary budget to be considerably spent.”
It was also impossible to evaluate the actual worth of such spending, it said.
The trips also put a burden on host countries as well as Thai embassy officers in those countries to welcome Thai visiting officers, it added.

Published : June 26, 2017

By : The Nation