World Bank sees no

World Bank sees no progress on Thai corruption

From: The Bangkok Post, Oct. 30, 2009 
Thailand has failed to address corruption as key indicators have remained unchanged during the past decade, according to the World Bank.
A World Bank survey found that six governance indicators in Thailand in 2008 stood in a range of 25-50 on a scale where zero is most corrupt and 100 least corrupt. Thailand's score beat Indonesia's but Indonesia has made big improvements in all indicators.
The six indicators are: voice and accountability, political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption.
"Political instability in Thailand last year declined enormously when compared to the past ten years," said Joel Turkewitz, programme co-ordinator for the regional governance hub, at a seminar on fraud and corruption in a downturn.

Charnchai Charuvastr, president and CEO of the Thai Institute of Directors Association (IOD), said political instability created opportunities for corruption.
"The issue of corruption is related to the country's economic growth as it is related to investor confidence and efficiency of budget spending. Thailand now needs foreign investment but if there is high corruption, foreign investors will rarely invest here," he said.
He said Thai society should be reshaped in many areas such as materialism, which makes Thais prone to commit fraud or corruption.
Research by the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) also found that corruption in Thailand has not improved in the past five years. Narong Rathamarit, the assistant to the commission's secretary-general, said corruption was often a reason for military coups. But elected governments were unable to solve corruption and fraud.
He said the NACC survey found that the business sector also felt corruption had not reduced. Under-the-table money to secure concessions or projects from government agencies had soared.
"In my opinion, businesspeople accepted the practice of paying extra money to get concessions or construction contracts from the government as a normal tradition," Mr Narong said.
The research found the Lands Department is the agency with most problems with tea money, with 72.22% of visits by businesspeople and individuals. It is estimated people pay about 8,933 baht in extra money per case in 2009, compared with 7,066 baht in 2003.
Tea money to politicians is estimated at 314,050 baht per case in 2009, up from 143,389 baht in 2003. The average bribe per case to the Customs Department in 2009 is estimated at 111,948 baht, up from 33,583 baht in 2003

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