The issue of ethical standards for public office holders and state officials, as specified in the present Constitution of Thailand, has been cited as a major mechanism in tackling corrupt practices and dealing with the effects of this malpractice.
In the previous Constitution, the Office of the Ombudsman was responsible for handling this issue, and it played an important role in crafting the moral and ethical standards for civil servants and politicians to follow.
In the present Constitution, which is Thailand’s 20th charter and was promulgated on 6 April 2017, the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission is the agency responsible for handling the issue.
Section 219 of the 2017 Constitution states that the Constitutional Court and Independent Organs shall jointly prescribe ethical standards applicable to the judges of the Constitutional Court and persons holding positions in the Independent Organs, including the Auditor-General and heads of the secretariat of the Constitutional Court and the Independent Organs.
Such ethical standards shall include the upholding of honor and the interests of the Nation and shall also explicitly specify the type of violation or non-compliance of ethical standards which is of a serious nature.
In preparing the ethical standards, opinions of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Council of Ministers shall also be taken into consideration. Upon their promulgation, they shall apply to Members of the House of Representatives, Senators and the Council of Ministers.
According to Section 234, the National Anti-Corruption Commission has the powers and duties to conduct an inquiry and prepare opinions in cases where there is an accusation that a person holding a political position, a judge of the Constitutional Court, a person holding a position in an Independent Organ, or the Auditor-General is involved in circumstances of unusual wealth, commits an act of corruption, or deliberately performs duties or exercises powers contrary to the provisions of the Constitution or the law, or seriously contravenes or fails to comply with the ethical standards, for further proceeding in accordance with the Constitution or the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department