Department of Industrial Works,

The Problem

The main duty of the Hazardous Substances Control Bureau, the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) is to control and monitor any processing of hazardous substances for industrial applications to ensure the safety of humans, animals, plants, assets and the environment in the timely manner to avoid any problems during business operation. In 1992, the Ministry of Industry enacted the Ministerial Notification, which requires enterprises associated with hazardous substances to first declare details of the import/export of hazardous substances controlled by DIW in accordance with the Ministry of Industry ’ s hazardous substance declaration form No. 6 (herein after referred as “ declaration form ” ). With consent from DIW, the enterprise must then furnish such a declaration form to the Customs Department as part of the clearance process to import/export hazardous substances. Procedures for prior inform consent comprises of five steps, which would take 12 business hours or two working days. According to the current procedures, the enterprise has to travel to the DIW service center for two days; the first day is for submission of declaration form and next day is for obtaining the prior inform consent document. However, the existing service center is apparently not a one-stop service center given that the enterprise must be responsible for all processing. This is attributed to the limits of manpower in the service center as the government has assigned only ten officers to work at the service center. There was an increasing number of pending declaration forms, for which the officers of the service center had to spend more time verifying documents including entering data into the database prior to the approval of prior consent form. Furthermore, issues regarding the limited number of parking lots at DIW as well as time-consuming and expensive to travel to DIW also affect the enterprise ’ s operation. Without consent from DIW, the enterprise would not be able to clear the import/export shipment with the Customs Department and would finally lead to economic loss. . For instance, the enterprise has to append more expenditure to rent warehouses for storing the pending shipment or has to pay additional expenditures for freight. Moreover, the enterprise has to temporarily shut down the plant due to the shortage of chemicals in the process. These implications affect the capital cost of the production, leading to less competitiveness in the marketplace.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
During 2003-2006, the rapid growth and development of the industrial sector resulted in an increase in the importing of hazardous substances being used as raw materials in the production process, leading to an increased number of enterprises declaring the import/export. In the meantime, DIW planned an initiative to combine all DIW’s service tasks to be one-stop service. In line with its development strategy, DIW therefore established the overarching and auditable “Single Window” to facilitate the enterprise in contacting DIW for obtaining the services in a timely and transparent manner. After reviewing the existing procedures, DIW revised the procedures to shorten the processes required for acknowledging the declaration form from five to two steps, which would require 15 minutes to complete all processes by a one-stop service. The revised procedures, which correspond to the Good Governance Royal Decree B.E. 2003, aimed to facilitate and reduce the time and expenditure of enterprises. This had benefit to the enterprises not only in reducing their operational costs, but also in increasing their competitiveness.
The evaluation revealed that the prior inform consent process from revised procedures could be completed within 15 minutes, so that it could reduce processing time for approval by 97.92% and 50% from that utilized in 1995 and in 2004 respectively. Benefits gained to government and private sectors are as follows:
o Government sector: The government could deliver convenient, timely, transparent services with appropriate resource mobilization. The database could be a useful tool for the government to track hazardous substances, which is critical for the effective management and development of initiative strategies for control and monitoring the use of industrial chemicals to prevent or eliminate any dangers that may harm humans, animals, plants, asset and environment.
o Private sector or enterprise: The complete processes within 15 minutes would enable the private sector to be more efficient and to reduce time and expenditure spent on getting the approval of prior inform consent. Difficulties caused by the limited number of parking lots and traffic jam could be lessened. Moreover, the enterprise can immediately make use of an approved prior inform consent to clear the Customs processes so that the expenditures on warehouse rental could be eliminated.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
Officers at the management level of DIW planned an initiative to improve the existing processes. DIW’s Director General therefore assigned the Deputy Director General of DIW to be in charge of the tasks to improve DIW’s performance to take the lead in this initiative by improving operational effectiveness, reducing unnecessary processes and processing time. Moreover, the Director General of DIW also authorized the Deputy Director General of DIW in charge to have authority to consider approve and verify the accuracy.

The introduction of the management information technology was jointly developed by officers of the Hazardous Substances Control Bureau, Industrial Information Center and Hazardous Substance Information Center to approve the prior inform consent. The management information technology is linked to the Customs Department by transferring the approved prior inform consent to the Customs Department’s database to facilitate enterprise to clear the Customs processes without traveling to DIW. Linkage to the Customs Department’s database would also enable DIW to get real time information on the import of hazardous substances in order to monitor hazardous substances. Moreover, the service is available throughout working hours including lunch hours with queuing system (through an automatic machine to run the queue) and necessary facilities. Public relations officers are also available in the service center to provide suggestions and clarification to enterprises for any queries that they may have.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The main duty of the Hazardous Substances Control Bureau is to control and monitor any processing of hazardous substances for industrial applications to ensure the safety of humans, animals, plants, assets and the environment in the timely manner to avoid any problems during business operation. Therefore, the objectives of its service focus on customers and accuracy are to meet the responsiveness expectations and satisfaction of customers. According to the evaluation on satisfaction of service and suggestions obtained through several channels e.g. questionnaires, telephone calls including DIW’s website, customers responded that the service is convenient, timely and transparent. Moreover, the customers were impressed with the facilities and service environment that DIW provided when they have to wait for the processes.
Pursuant to the above, DIW has continually improved and developed its service to customers taking into account the convenient, timely, transparent and auditable manner. DIW’s vision has also included an introduction of management information technology during the service, which could facilitate the service by reducing processes and processing time until completion as well as the use of a queuing system (through use of an automatic machine to run the queue). The public relation officers that have been assigned to provide suggestions and verify the competency of documents, availability of service during lunch hour and acquisition of facilities for customers during waiting times, have well demonstrated DIW’s intention to deliver excellent service quality.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
The reduction of processes and processing time for acknowledgment of declaration form has been undertaken on the continuing basis. The Hazardous Substances Control Bureau has implemented the followings:
5.1 Procedures for approval of prior inform consent originally comprises of five steps, and would take not more than 12 business hours or two working days reduced to five steps and would take not more than 30 minutes in 2004. In 2006, procedures for approval of prior inform consent was revised and reduced to two steps and would take not more than 15 minutes.
5.2 Organized meetings with officers to inform and harmonize procedures and processes including to ensure that processing time to complete the processes would not extend beyond the maximum duration.
5.3 Maintained a database of service and undertook a satisfaction evaluation.
5.4 The Hazardous Substance Information Centerand Industrial Information Center of DIW introduced management information technology to collect information into a database and transfer the approval results to the Customs Department’s database to facilitate the enterprise to clear the Customs processes without traveling to DIW. Linkage to the Customs Department’s database would also enable DIW to get real time information on the import of hazardous substances in order to monitor hazardous substances.
5.5 Set up three service channels to submit the declaration form. Moreover, these channels could also provide services on any processes related to hazardous substances.
5.6 Introduced a queuing system through an automatic machine to run the queue.
5.7 Organized training workshops for officers and brainstorming workshops to strengthen service capacity of officers.
5.8 Set up a system to obtain feedback and suggestions from customers, which would be evaluated and summarized on a monthly basis to determine satisfaction of customers in various aspects and identify remedies in order to resolve the issues. Channels to obtain feedback, suggestions and complaints from customers are:
1) DIW’s website ( and Hazardous Substances Control Bureau’s website (
2) Feedback box equipped with stationary and paper in a noticeable location.
3) Post mail by providing DIW’s address in the brochure and on DIW’s website.
4) Telephone calls and faxes by providing a contact number at the service location and on DIW’s website.
5) Direct interview by officers after completion of all processes to seek suggestions on areas that could be improved before being submitted to management level.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
Approvals of prior inform consent on details on import/export of hazardous substances must follow regulatory requirements. However, mistakes can occur as a result of reduction of processes and processing time e.g. during verification of competency. Such a mistake may cause negative impact to enterprises during the Customs clearance processes.
DIW has realized the importance of personnel, which is the key to the successful implementation of its strategies and policies. It has therefore working towards to strengthening capacity of all levels of officers in particular, team work spirit, initiative ideas, competency in the duty to ensure the smooth, timely and effective implementation to meet the citizens needs. The activities undertaken are
6.1 Improved the organization’s culture by ensuring positive working attitudes of officers in communicating and dealing with citizen. It is essential that officers do their best to deliver the service given that citizen need assistance and convenience in dealing with the government. Training workshops for officers in charge of service have been regularly organized to increase their positive working attitudes.
6.2 Decentralize authority to enable officers to take action with approval of all types of prior inform consent. This is to avoid the regular processes that officers need to submit it to management level for approval.
6.3 Officers are rotated in order to be responsible for different fields to enable them to work as a successor when the officers in charge are not available. Officers with experience have been assigned to transfer their knowledge and experience to other officers. In addition, this includes capacity building on resolving issues and decision making to enable the processed to proceed immediately;
6.4 Organized regular meetings to follow-up progress of implementation, know operational problems, and determine solutions to the problems. The meeting is chaired by the director of Hazardous Substances Control Bureau, hazardous substances and VOC specialist and directors of concerned divisions;
6.5 Develop a questionnaire to evaluate satisfaction on service quality and to seek suggestions and other needs from customers on a continuing basis. Results obtained from the evaluation would be analyzed and used for further improvement.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
DIW has established an overarching and auditable “Single Window” to facilitate the enterprise in contacting DIW for obtaining the services in a timely and transparent manner. DIW has mobilized the resources as follows.
7.1 Human resources
7.1.1 Assigned officers with service mind to service customers to meet the expectation of citizens and deliver excellent service.
7.1.2 Assigned trained officers to provide suggestions and to preliminarily verify competency of the document before submission. Directors and Officers of the Single Window approach customers to obtain information on type of service required, including providing suggestions and facilitate the customer in getting the required service.
7.1.3 Service is available throughout the government working hours including during the lunch hours.
7.2 Facilities
7.2.1 Acquired computers as electronic media to facilitate customers to search information on their own and assigning officers of the Single Window to facilitate the service at the service area.
7.2.2 Establish a public relations counter.
7.2.3 Set up the resting area and acquire self-service drinks, televisions, newspapers and journals for customers during queuing.
7.2.4 Set up a good service quality system by eliminating obstacles or causes that increase the workload of customers as follows:
1) Service with transparency and equity, which is proven by the use of a queuing system by an automatic machine to arrange the order of customers. When a specific number is reached, there would be announcement to alert customers to go to proper service counters.
2) Categorized types of services in different service counters to facilitate the customers and to prevent confusion that may be caused.
7.3 Others,
7.3.1 Developed an operating manual for the Single Window.
7.3.2 Exhibited a poster in the service area to clearly inform processes and processing time including fees for each service to customers.
7.3.3 Assigned various channels to get information on the service e.g. telephone calls, website ( etc.
7.3.4 In addition to the service center during working hours, other channels are offered as an alternate for customers to obtain the service comprising of
1) Service through the service center on Saturday 8:30am – 12.00pm.
2) Service through a computerized system, which is linked to the computer network of DIW.
7.3.5 Set up the channels to obtain feedback and suggestions from customers including to clarify any queries and complaints that the customers may have.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
Currently, international traders communicating with government agencies whose operation is document-based system have suffered from delays from time-consuming processes. Such delays lead to operational problems of the private sector. The United Nations has recommended a concept to develop a single window or one stop service. Subsequently, ASEAN has adopted this concept by entering into agreement among member countries encouraging each country to explore and develop the communication system for import/export and obtaining permit/certification under the name “National Single Window”. Each national single window will be linked to that of other member countries and called, “the ASEAN Single Window”.

DIW has started the activity toward the National Single Window by linking with the Customs Department. At the beginning, an alternate option, which allows customers to declare the detail through a computerized system, is linked to the computer network of DIW (through the internet). This alternate option has gained good feedback from the enterprises.

During 2010-2012, DIW plans to develop a system to control hazardous substances (controlled by DIW) by linking its connection system to the National Single Window of the Customs Department for the approval of permits. Such a development would increase efficiency and effectiveness of the control mechanism of government agencies. Moreover, this initiative would reduce operational expenditure of both public and private sectors because the Single Window is a system that has been developed to share information between the government and the private sector to maximize the joint benefits of international trade by all related stakeholders.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The improvement of processes to approve the detail of imports/exports could well respond to customer expectation. The improvement has been convenient and cost-effective to customers as can be seen by their satisfaction on service. This achievement is partly attributed to DIW’s vision on the cost effectiveness by taking into account the importance of maximizing the utilization and management of officers, budget, tools and technology. Moreover, such improvement has strengthened our organization, which positively affects the reputation of DIW. The private sector can also increase their competitiveness in the current economic climate.
The key factors essential for the great achievement in improving the process for the approval of the prior inform consent are full cooperation of all levels of officers and service mind working attitude. It is crucial for the organization to create and maintain a culture of service mind to ensure that the government agency can fulfill its roles in supporting the industry, which is essential for our country’s development in the short, intermediate and long term.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Department of Industrial Works,
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Somsri Suwanjaras
Title:   Specialist  
Telephone/ Fax:   + (66)2 202 4205
Institution's / Project's Website:   + (66)2 202 4230
Address:   75/6 Rama VI Road, Rachadhewi
Postal Code:   10400
State/Province:   Bangkok
Country:   Thailand

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