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Thailand: Transparency Key to Fighting Graft - Experts
Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/politics/Transparency-key-to-fighting-graft-experts-30269279.html
Source Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Thailand
Created: Sep 29, 2015

EXPERTS say that transparency is key to the prevention of corruption and to national development.

Speaking yesterday at a seminar titled "Information Disclosure, Transparency's Power, Opportunities and the Future of Thailand", National Anti-Corruption Commission member Vicha Mahakun said all government should be accessible so the public can develop an anti-graft attitude based on this body of knowledge.

The seminar was hosted by news agency Thaipublica.

Vicha said that once the public is sufficiently educated and provided with necessary information, then they could help keep in an eye on and scrutinise fraudulent activities.

Thippatrai Saelawong, a researcher from the Thailand Development and Research Institute, agreed, saying transparency and open data would help foster understanding between people and the government, ultimately facilitating further development.

He said transparency made people more aware of what's happening around them and the impact it can have on their lives. For instance, he said, they can take a stand against projects pushed by the government that have direct impact on their lives.

He pointed out that current technology made it easy to manage enormous amounts of data as well as making it simple and more accessible to the public.

Open data

Banyong Pongpanich, a member of the State Enterprise Policy and Supervisory Committee, agreed, saying open data would help promote transparency and efficiency, which are at the heart of development.

He said three mechanisms could be put in place to facilitate the use of open data.

First, he said, there should be a team of experts to analyse the data; second, civil society could help examine the data; and last a mechanism could be put in place to transfer and translate the data for the people. 

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