By The Nation
THE PUBLIC Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) yesterday proposed that the Social Development and Human Security Ministry punish 96 state officials allegedly involved in irregularities at dozens of provincial protection centres for the destitute.
Under the proposal, the officials would be subject to disciplinary punishments ranging from transfer to dismissal with pension or dismissal without pension.
The PACC investigation against the 96 accused found links to three high-ranking officials who had worked at the ministry in 2017, one current official at the ministry and another retired official.
The commission will submit the names of these five high-ranking officials to the ministry for its investigation, and to the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) for a separate inquiry, PACC secretary-general Korntip Daroj said.
Korntip also reported that the PACC investigation had covered 56 out of the total of 76 provincial protection centres nationwide.
So far, he said, 34 of the first batch of 37 centres were confirmed to have been subjected to graft, while the other three – in Sing Buri, Prachin Buri and Nakhon Si Thammarat – were being rechecked. Although no misappropriated allowances had been found at the three centres, they may have been affected by other forms of corruption, he added.
The 34 centres where graft allegedly occurred were: Khon Kaen, Chiang Mai, Bung Karn, Nong Khai, Surat Thani, Sara Buri, Ayutthaya, Trat, Udon Thani, Nan, Krabi, Trang, Sa Kaew, Roi Et, Phatthalung, Chumphon, Chaiyaphum, Surin, Phitsanulok, Maha Sarakham, Lamphun, Nakhon Ratchasima, Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Yasothon, Si Sa Ket, Ubon Ratchathani, Nakhon Phanom, Kalasin, Yala, Samut Songkhram, Phichit, Ratchaburi and Loei.
The PACC board has resolved to file charges against 15 of the provincial centres, while it was considering what to do in the case of another seven centres, and fact-finding reports were being compiled on the remaining 12 centres.
Korntip added that the PACC was further investigating 22 centres and conducting fact-finding in another 17 centres.
Korntip also reported that the agency was conducting additional fact-finding on five self-help settlement centres, being Khon Kaen’s Ubolrat Dam centre, Udon Thani’s Chiang Pin centre, Buri Ram’s Ban Kruad centre, Udon Thani’s Huai Luang centre and Satun’s Southern Development centre. The cases against three of these centres would be forwarded to the NACC, he said.
The PACC focuses on corruption cases involving low-ranking officials, while the NACC handles corruption cases involving politicians and high-ranking officials.