11 July 2024

Thailand’s National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) will not interfere with the decision of the Racha Thewa Tambon (sub-district) Administration Organisation (TAO) to procure an additional 727 “fancy” lamp posts, at an estimated cost of 69 million baht, to be installed in the sub-district.

NACC Secretary-General Niwatchai Kasemmongkol said today (Thursday) that the TAO Council in Samut Prakan Province has the authority to press ahead with the lamp post project, even though it is already being investigated by the anti-corruption watchdog for alleged misuse of funds to procure hundreds of similar lamp posts at inflated prices previously.

He said that there are five case files open on the lamp post project and the NACC is expected to wrap up all the cases early next year, ahead of a ruling by the commission. The accused will be given a chance to defend themselves, he added.

He did, nonetheless, emphasise that local administrative organisations have a duty to make use of their funds appropriately and for the benefit of people in the locality and that they must be held accountable for their actions.

The lamp posts feature Kinnara half bird half human figurine at the top. The Racha Thewa TAO has spent more than 900 million baht over several years in erecting the posts in the sub-district, many of which are on deserted roads and not functioning.