Supinya refuses telecoms “gifts”, calls out corruption-Bangkok Post

March 12, 2012

[FACT comments: We know FACT cofounder Supinya has a very finely-tuned conscience. She will not accept injustice for herself or others. With a high and influential position in govt, she is poised to make a difference to corruption instead of offering just lip service. We are so proud of her!]

Supinya calls for code of conduct on company gifts

A member of the broadcasting regulator wants it to draw up a clear code of conduct on gifts after a telecommunications giant gave her an iPhone.

Mongkol Bangprapa

Bangkok Post: March 8, 2012

http://www.bangkokpost.com/lite/topstories/283359/supinya-calls-for-code-of-conduct-on-company-gifts

Supinya: Issue affects NBTC’s image

National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) member Supinya Klangnarong said an executive presented an iPhone 4Gs with 64GB memory in a New Year gift basket but she rejected the offering. The basket also contained a Buddha image, coffee and fruits.

Companies also donated 21 expensive gifts including digital cameras and mobile phones for lucky draws at a New Year party at the NBTC.

Ms Supinya disclosed the offers of gifts to Isra News Centre on Tuesday after the issue had been widely discussed by commissioners.

She yesterday told the Bangkok Post that she would discuss the issue with other commissioners next Wednesday because the acceptance of such gifts might cause a conflict of interest and violate a regulation of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) that prohibits a government official from receiving a gift worth more than 3,000 baht. “This issue is serious and affects the ethical image of the organisation,” she said.

She said NBTC member Prawit Leesathaporn also agreed that the regulator should come up with a clear code of conduct.

Ms Supinya said the code of conduct could also provide a guide to commissioners’ cars and overseas trips.

She said she would find out if staff at the NBTC office had been aware of the sources of gifts they had won in draws.

Suthipol Thaweechaigarn, another NBTC member, said he had not received a New Year gift basket because he had been on an overseas trip then.

He said NBTC executives and commissioners including him had been asked to donate gifts for lucky draws at the party. He had his subordinate buy a microwave oven worth about 4,000 baht and gave a bottle of wine to meet the request.

He said he did not know if any company had donated gifts to the party.

NBTC chairman ACM Thares Punsri said he used his own phone that he had acquired before taking office at the organisation.

Col Nathee Sukolrat, another NBTC member, said he and his wife used mobile phones they had bought themselves. However, he admitted to receiving a Buddha image from staff of the same telecommunications company that approached Ms Supinya.

NBTC secretary-general Thakorn Tanthasit said commission executives traditionally donated New Year gifts for the lucky draws to boost the morale of staff and the NBTC office did not request gifts from any outside party.

“Outside parties attended the party and brought presents for the lucky draws voluntarily. Those were not requested. Donors handed rewards to the party organising committee directly and the NBTC’s office and secretary-general did not know what the presents were and how much they cost,” Mr Thakorn said via his Twitter account.

NACC member Vicha Mahakhun said authorities should consider if donations came from any companies about to join a bidding contest of the organisation that received the donations.

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