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Former anti-graft commissioners back new law’s deadlines for case completion

Nov 21. 2017
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By The Nation

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Two former anti-corruption commissioners have backed the specific time frames set for the investigation of graft cases as addressed in the new anti-corruption law, saying that officials will now have definite deadlines to adhere to and cases will not therefore accumulate over time.

Panthep Klanarongran, who now chairs the anti-corruption reform committee, said the time frames under the new law were useful as cases would no longer pile up. 

If anti-corruption commissioners cannot complete cases in time, they can ask for extension periods, he added.

Vicha Mahakun, another ex-commissioner and now a member of the National Legislative Assembly’s vetting committee on the anti-corruption law, agreed, saying that anti-graft commissioners from now on would have specified work time frames to follow, so they would know when they had to wrap up cases.

In addition, anti-corruption officials will be upgraded and able to initiate probes just like investigators, without waiting for a resolution from the investigation sub-panel, which usually takes some time to consider before reaching a decision on each case, he said.

More than 60 per cent of corruption cases are minor and can be proceeded with by an individual official, he said, stressing that what was needed was the courage to pursue cases by anti-corruption officials.

Both officials and commissioners, he added, should also be more proactive, and not wait for somebody to file a complaint to them. 

Random probes in local organisations, for instance, could help prevent corruption from taking place, Vicha said.

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