The OECD Integrity Review of Thailand is the first of its kind in South East Asia, demonstrating the Government of Thailand’s commitment to investing in public integrity and learning from the practices and expertise of OECD countries. The Review was conducted by the Directorate for Public Governance through a series of consultations with the Thai stakeholders, and is part of the Directorate’s broader work programme on public sector integrity. Tackling corruption in the public sector and building transparent and accountable public institutions fosters investment, encourages competition, and improves government efficiency. The policy recommendations in this Integrity Review not only seek to bolster Thailand’s integrity system, but also to promote public trust and ensure that the country can continue down a path of sustained economic growth.

In recent decades, the Government of Thailand has strengthened efforts to mitigate corruption risks in the public sector, as demonstrated by the establishment of agencies such as the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), and the Office of the Auditor General. Furthermore, the third phase of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (2017-21) seeks to deter corruption through stronger integrity and anti-corruption laws and policies. These developments have improved legal and institutional frameworks, but further progress is needed in some areas. This includes ensuring the effective implementation of integrity laws and policies which would lead to improvements in the levels of public trust.

This Integrity Review analyses Thailand’s integrity system, including the institutional framework for its anti-corruption strategy, conflict-of-interest policies, ethics management in the public sector and whistleblower protection. It provides recommendations in line with international good practices and the 2017 OECD Recommendation on Public Integrity.

The Review suggests a streamlined mechanism for co-ordinating among bodies, in particular the NACC, PACC and the Office of the Civil Service Commission (OCSC). The government could develop more detailed guidance for officials considered at risk of conflict-of-interest situations, and further expand the scope of its asset declaration system to public officials that are considered at risk of corruption. At the same time, it should consider developing an online disclosure system to facilitate the submission, verification and audit, and subsequent publication of asset declarations.

To foster a culture of public integrity, Thailand could increase awareness of the Code of Professional Ethics for Civil Servants by developing an in-depth training programme, and introduce a dedicated whistleblower protection law to facilitate reporting of suspected integrity violations.

Marcos Bonturi
Public Governance Directorate, OECD