The National Anti-Corruption Commission Thailand Alerts Investors to Risks of Gratuity Offerings as Potential Bribery

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BANGKOK, THAILAND - Media OutReach Newswire - 26 February 2024 - The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has issued a formal advisory to both local and international investors regarding the practice of offering gratuities to government officials, which may constitute bribery and is subject to legal penalties under the latest anti-corruption regulations.

The NACC's Secretary-General, Mr. Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, emphasized that the regulatory framework established in 2020 includes criminal penalties for such offenses. According to Section 128 of the regulation, any public official accepting a bribe could face up to three years of imprisonment, a fine not exceeding 60,000 baht or both.

In efforts to uphold ethical conduct, the NACC has notified all parties of the Code of Ethics which governs the reception of gifts or benefits by government officials. The code aims to prevent the masking of bribes as gratuities, a practice that is identified as a seedbed for bribery and corruption, posing significant hurdles to national development and contravening legal standards.

This warning aligns with the stance of Transparency International (TI), which categorizes bribery as a form of corruption that must be eradicated. TI describes gratuities as promises of money or other advantages to officials or organizations as a quid pro quo for favorable treatment.

Mr. Niwatchai acknowledged that the challenge of gratuities is not unique to Thailand but is also prevalent in other developing nations where such practices have traditionally been used to repay favors or cultivate relationships, potentially leading to corruption within the government sector.

However, the NACC clarifies that certain exceptions exist where the receipt of gifts or benefits by officials is permissible, provided it adheres to the ethical criteria and limits set by the NACC. These exceptions include salaries, allowances, dividends, and customary gifts of nominal value given on special occasions.

In instances where assets valued over 3,000 baht are received under compelling circumstances, officials are mandated to report to the highest executive authority within their agency for approval within 30 days.

The NACC further explained that bribing behaviors encapsulate a range of actions from offering money for favorable services, facilitating school admissions, and avoiding legal prosecution, to illicit financial interactions with contractors.

The Commission emphasizes that these guidelines are part of a broader strategy to combat corruption. Effective law enforcement must be complemented by a cultural shift towards increased awareness and behavior change, distinguishing personal from public interest, and ultimately fostering a culture of integrity within Thai society.

For reporting any corrupt activities by government officials, the NACC encourages whistleblowers to contact the NACC Office at Tel. 1205 or visit their website at www.nacc.go.th.

Hashtag: #IntegrityWay #AntiCorruption #ZeroCorruption #NACC #NACF


https://nacc.go.th/english

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National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC)

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is a constitutional independent organization supervised by nine commissioners selected from various professions. It is authorized to undertake work on the prevention and suppression of malfeasance, particularly in government agencies, on assets investigations, as well as on the monitoring of ethics and virtues of political position holders.

It has the authority to file charges in court as well as support and build up awareness of the penalties for committing corruption. The NACC is supervised by the NACC Board and has the Office of the NACC as its administrative agency.

Since 1997, Thai Courts have ruled against and punished politicians, former ministers, high-ranking government officials as well as executives of the private sector in the thousands of cases submitted by the NACC.

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