Experts Emphasize the Crucial Role of Technology, Open Data, and Public Participation in Combating Corruption

PRNewswire June 1, 2023

BANGKOK, June 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The use of Blockchain and other technological advances, open data, people participation, and cooperation from the public, private and academic sectors are all important tools to ensure the strategic plan of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) reaches its targets, according to experts speaking at a forum about “Open Government: Game Changer in Fight against Corruption”.

The forum, held on May 25th in Bangkok, was co-hosted by the NACC and local television channel PPTV HD 36. The forum was held to promote increasing public disclosure of information and to raise the level of transparency in order to strengthen confidence in the Thai economy.

“Making information easier for the public to access will help citizens to be treated fairly when receiving services from the government,” Mr Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, Secretary General of the NACC, said in his keynote speech. “Open data can ensure transparency in the procurement process and allow people to check. Everyone is able to inspect government officials.”

During the panel discussion that followed the opening speech, Dr. Chadchart Sittipunt, Governor of Bangkok, said the focus of his Open Bangkok policy is Open data, the disclosure of information.

“Important information must be disclosed, published information is like a flashlight that lets us see in the dark, and that information must be measurable,” Dr. Chadchart said. “Technology in terms of storing data in the same format, reading data, processing data and having a dashboard will make everything easier. Open data is about building trust, building faith, which is the most valuable thing in creating a transparent state.”

He cited as an example the use of “Traffy Fondue”, a problem management platform established by Thai researchers to ensure citizen engagement in reporting and monitoring problems affecting the operations and services of agencies such as municipal offices, thereby preventing misconducts, and increasing transparency.

“We need cooperation from every part of the four threads that join together: government, people, private sector and academic sector. strengthening society against corruption and transparency.”

“Disclosure is critical to success,” said Associate Professor Tortrakul Yomnak, member of the board of the Foundation for Public Policy and Good Governance. “Once the information is open, the public will be able to access it.”

“In order to solve the corruption problem, cooperation from all sectors is required, the NACC cannot solve the problem alone,” said Associate Professor Dr. Anusorn Tamajai, Chairman of the Pridi Banomyong Institute. “Technological advances, the trend towards direct democracy, and participatory management will bring about radically changed transparency because they will allow auditing of the government.”

The blockchain technology must be embraced in order to reform the way various transactions take place, as such new technologies can help tackle corruption, Dr. Anusorn added.

According to Mr. Kitti Tangjitrmaneesakda, Vice Chairman of The Federation of Thai Industries, it is clearly visible is that petty corruption can be reduced with the use of technology and that social media plays a role as everyone can be a detective and highlight issues of misconduct.

However, Mr. Kitti added that regulatory reforms are also required in some areas.

“Law enforcement reforms are required, the need for licenses, and processes that give discretionary authority to officials must be reduced,” Mr. Kitti said.  “People must work together to make this happen. The private sector, which has publicly stated its policy as an anti-corruption organization has to take it seriously. We should all have a duty to help each other.”

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SOURCE National Anti-Corruption Commission (Thailand)

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