The anti-corruption procedure: A case of corrupted collusion
Donkaew Sub-district Administrative Organization

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
In the past, not only wasting the government’s budget but many resources was also greatly lost due to the corruption problems. People lacked of opportunity to access into the central services and development. According to the Corruption Perception Index, it is found that two third of countries in this world have the transparency point less than 50 from the total of 100 points. In 2016, Thailand got only 35 out of 100 points and consequently ranked number 101 from 168 countries around the world. In Donkaew Sub-district Administrative Organization (SAO), the serious corruption problem was the collusion from buying the supplies and all the constructive projects wasted financially for 7.5 million baht (about 25%) of 30 million baht. Moreover, the procurement conducted by the government agency had many weaknesses specifically for the corrupted procurement system that had limited accessibility. Therefore, only some networking people were able to be in the procurement procedures. This kind of corruption was normalized while the good deeds were concealed. Then, this wrong practice became the value and rooted in the community. The children were affected since the government wasted their money for the corruption instead of support the education or the living quality of the children. The next stage of the poor quality of living led to another social problems and crime. The elderly people were abandoned and lack of public accessibility. Furthermore, the corruption could induce the social gap specifically for economic unfair as well as the political inequality. Also, gender inequality could also become one of the problems caused by the corruption problem. As a result, the key to solve this problem is to start changing the administrators’ values and attitude towards the corruption. Then, with the power and leadership, these people could encourage and expand the new values to the others.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The corruption problem was solved initiatively by changing the social value of the administrators. The idea that corruption is acceptable was refused and the administrators were simultaneously pointed out to the devastating outcomes. Moreover, the new values of anti-corruption were practically disseminated aiming for decentralizing the power to the locals.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The innovation of transparency city created by Donkaew Sub-district Administrative Organization focuses on the principal of decentralization. The locals are the key urging the participation in the community. Four bases of the innovation of transparency city are to help thinking, to help making a decision, to help creating and to help developing. To help thinking – The locals were requested to help thinking through the wisdom sphere where problems were discussed and ideas were shared in order to solve the corruption problem. According to the brainstorming from all involved parties, the weaknesses of procurement were solved. So, the risk situations led to the corruption problem were blocked. Many ways of checking were balanced by every stakeholder. The technological advancements specifically for CCTV were used in order to monitor the corruption. To help making a decision – Based on the principal of democracy, people in Donkaew SAO were able to share their ideas equally as well as make a decision at the meeting both in the village level and sub district level. All involved parties e.g. youth’s group, women’s group, the group of disabled people, the elderly group, the group of poor people and the group of marginalized people, were able to share their ideas used for solving the problems such as the health problem, the poor quality of life, the problem of the unqualified infrastructures in their own community. To help creating – This concept was done based on the public consciousness of people in the community. People who work against the corruption are honored and appointed as the role model called “People of Donkaew”. The new values of anti-corruption developed by these people helped changing the old idea about corruption. Specifically for the illegal procurement, the corruption problems were taken seriously. People who joined the anti-corruption campaigns were honored and rewarded every year. To help developing – The assessment system involved by all related parties were developed. The assessment team consisted of the locals, the transparency committees, the procurement committees and the volunteer groups were cooperated in order to solve the corruption problem. When corruption was found, all parties were informed and discussed together in order to sustainably solve the problem. For this result, the independent group which mainly mobilized by the local people was developed. The main objective was to monitor the risk situations which could lead to the corruption problem especially for the construction projects or the procurement procedure conducted by the government agencies. Therefore, with all of the above mentioned mechanisms, the power to govern their community was given to the locals through all cooperating activities. From creating the project to the assessment, people were involved as the key persons to solve sustainably the corruption problem. It was understandable for the locals that once the corruption was eliminated, their quality of life would be better since the budget would not be wasted for solving this problem.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In the past, all works done by Donkaew SAO were centralized and based on the regulations in Thai bureaucratic system. Therefore, there were many weaknesses led to the corruption problems. For example, the governed power was only laid on the administrators’ hands so it was so easy to make a decision without having a proper assessment. The corruption was existed from the policy level to the practical level. The patron-client system was created and the activities conducted by the government agencies were intervened especially for the procurement process. On the other hand, once Donkaew SAO changed the administrative pattern from centralization to decentralization, the participation from all involved parties was the solution solving the corruption problem. The organizational value of anti-corruption initiated by the administrators was sent out to the locals and community so that floor for assessment was opened. Then, the new value of anti-corruption was gradually developed so that the corruption problems were solved sustainably.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Donkaew SAO was the organization which implemented the initiative under the project called “Donkaew SAO: The transparency city”. The implementation was mobilized steps by steps. Firstly, after the corruption was found in the procurement process, the brainstorming was done through the wisdom sphere by the internal staffs consisted of the administrators, the government officers and the people who worked for Donkaew SAO. At that time the problem was temporary solved by canceling the procurement so that the traders were very upset and unsatisfied. The government officers, involved in the procurement process were threatened. The brainstorming outcome created the new procurement process which was not only able to block the collusion but the anti-corruption monitoring team was also developed. As a result, the project of “Donkaew SAO: The transparency city” was created and became to the public policy of Donkaew SAO. This project mainly focused on the cooperation that helped preventing the corruption in the community. The assessment teams which were the transparency committees (25 members), the procurement committees (115 members consisted of 48 women, 12 juveniles, 15 elder people, and 40 civilians) were supported by Donkaew SAO. There were 453 projects and activities conducted in order to ensure the new value of anti-corruption in the area. The public relation team was appointed aiming to conduct the anti-corruption campaigns continuously and expand this concept to the anti-corruption network in 14 sub-district administrative organization. Also, this initiative was transferred to the schools as the anti-corruption program ensuring that the anti-corruption concept was educated for the children. Until now, 755 children and 302 juveniles joined the anti-corruption program which helped developing their citizenship’s concerns.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The value of the organization developed by the administrator of Donkaew SAO initiated the project of Donkaew SAO: The transparency City. The 4 strategic plans were implemented through 4 bases of to help thinking, to help making a decision, to help creating and to help developing. Not only the cooperative participation was gained from the locals but the value of the administrators was also changed. More checking procedures were conducted and the works conducted by the government agencies were more accessible. This initiative was firstly mobilized by 6 administrators of Donkaew SAO who launched the anti-corruption policy which was consequently implemented by 42 government officers to the practical level. Next, under the anti-corruption scheme, 715 people who were the role model of anti-corruption, 115 persons from the constructive projects, 100 volunteers, 24 persons from the good governance committees and 126 local groups worked together as the anti-corruption network. Their responsibilities were to monitor the works conducted by the government agencies and to ensure all assessment procedure were properly conducted in order to prevent corruption problems. Moreover, 121 local wisdom elites/ craftsmen were selected from 10 villages aiming to assess the quality of works. Moreover, not only the human resource was mobilized but the financial supports were also funded. There were financial supports from Donkaew SAO’s legislation, the money received from the good governance rewards and the health funding. Furthers, the technology was used such as the CCTV, video and Management Information system aiming to monitor the procurement process and risk situation. In 1997, the organizational structure was reformed in order to balance the power of the administrations. There were the efficient assessments which relied on the main government’s regulations. The administrators were the role model of anti-corruption. The staffs and other involved persons were not allowed to include in the procurement process. The project “Donkaew SAO: The Transparency City” was conducted in 2001. After that, the corruption problems were controlled but could not be completed since there were collusions among the traders. Therefore, the new procurement practices were coined such as handwritten document was not allowed and the organizational seal and signature were required. Then, the document could not be able to copy or illegally create. Additionally, the use of CCTV or video helped monitoring the risk situations and awkward behaviors of the traders who wanted to corrupt the procurement process. From 2007 to present days, the anti-corruption methods are strengthened and there are many ways to assess the government’s works. Therefore, the patterns of corruption problems are changed. Rather than having a corrupted collusion or illegal procurement, the traders downgrade their quality of works so that they could minimize their budget. Then, the works are unqualified. However, this problem is solved by setting up a cooperative team consisted of the locals, the stakeholders and the entrepreneurs in the area. Without receiving the remuneration fee, this team mainly focuses on assessing the quality of constructive works as well as ensuring all regulations are improved for the new corrupted situations.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The uncorrupted procurement was successfully developed and implemented due to the cooperation from all involved parties. The first part was the locals. The anti-corruption role models selected as the locals’ representatives were the key in all processes and activities. They helped creating anti-corruption strategy, implementing the policies to practical stage and assessing the outcome of the initiative. They also involved in the assessment teams i.e. the assessment team for construction works, the good governance committees and the volunteering team which helped monitoring the corruption problems. Secondly, the government agencies i.e. the Office of National Anti-Corruption (both provincial and national level), the Office of the Auditor General (provincial level), the police officers, the educational institutes and the Provincial Office of Public Works were very helpful being as a part in all assessment team. They also helped providing the academic trainings and supports. Next, the cooperation from the business agencies was also coined. Four local factories joined this anti-corruption project. For example, Wiang Phing Ceramic Factory helped participating in the procurement process when Wake Construction Company and Saran Construction Company were involved in the good governance teams and ensured all regulations of good governance. The last business agency was Nim See Seng Company which supported many resources in anti-corruption campaigns. Lastly, the anti-corruption network composed of 254 sub-districts in Thailand was one important key to implement this initiative. Not just only the information and learning process were shared among networks but other strategic plans were also exchanged aiming to understand about patterns and tricky situation of corruption.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There are five most successful outputs initiated from the project “Donkaew SAO: The transparency city”. 1. The new procurement processes – According to this, the corruption problems specifically for the collusion are prevented. 2. The assessment team – The assessment team is divided into three groups based on their purposes. The first assessment team consisted of 1,714 people were well-trained and had knowledge to cope with anti-corruption problems. The second team consisted of 15,477 people focused on the information’s accessibility for the anti-corruption. Consisted of 715 people, the last team focused on monitoring the corrupted situation. Besides, the assessment would not be conducted successfully without the cooperation from other parties such as Damrongdham Center, the good governance committees, the procurement committees, the volunteers and the anti-corruption networks. 3. The new organizational value of anti-corruption – Due to this matter, the organization’s mission towards the anti-corruption was developed. 4. The Good Governance Program instructed at the Good Governance School – About 6,205 people were educated and trained for anti-corruption. Besides, this program was taught to 500 people from 40 sub-districts that joined the anti-corruption network. 5. The anti-corruption public policy – Used as the main policy, Donkaew SAO developed many projects and activities not only aiming to solve the corruption problems but also to prevent the new ways of corruption. The practical guidelines were applied and there were 7,545 local people joined these anti-corruption activities. Moreover, the equal accessibility for public service was also concerned.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles encountered and the accomplished solutions are as the following. 1. The first problem encountered is the threatening from the powerful dealers due to their financial lost. This problem is solved by using the anti-corruption mechanism. Also, the cooperation and team work as well as the corruption concerns are developed. 2. Next, the new ways of corruption are emerged all the times. Then, the old pattern could not be used to solve the problems. For this reason, the cooperation and brainstorming from all involved parties is extremely needed. 3. Due to the supremacy of powerful people in the area, the local cannot perform their assessment properly. This obstacle was eased by developing another assessment team consisted of the group of honorable people. So that they could influence and support the other to fight against the corruption problems. 4. Next, the insufficient knowledge about the standard construction is another obstacle. Therefore, the theoretical knowledge and practical trainings are provided as the solution. So that the people involved in the construction projects could perform their duties properly. 5. The last problem is the insufficient human resource that is able to monitor all construction projects. To solve this problem, the volunteering cooperation from the civilians is requested as the project assistant.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
There are four keys benefits resulting from this initiative. The first one is people can use the qualified services from the government agencies. Without wasting money for corruption, the organization could manage their budgets on improving the infrastructures and services. People are able to access for public services equally so that their quality of life are improved. There are many projects developed for ensuring the better living standards i.e. the health care, the household supports, the occupational supports and the educational supports for people in the community. Next, the accessibility of information is increased. Therefore, people can easily monitor the risk situations, send feedbacks and assess the government’s works. Moreover, the network of cooperation is one of the key benefits caused by the strong commitment. At this point, knowledge and resources as well as the fruitful experience will be shared. As a result, 14 anti-corruption networks are collaborated. Then, the human resources and expenses are also shared. Lastly, the anti-corruption initiative helps reducing the conflicts in the community. With the idea of good governance, people receive and able to access all good and service equally. Then, the conflict of interest leading to violence such as threatening, kidnapping or murder is reduced. Consequently, the lives are secured. Moreover, more participation and collaboration are gained from the locals.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Yes. The initiative improves integrity and accountability in public services. Providing more opportunities to work with the government side, people help developing the government’s works specifically for the procurement process. For this reason, it develops the transparency since all works are assessable. Moreover, due to the strong cooperation, all groups of people in the community concern more about the corruption problems. In the organization level, the memorandum of understanding towards anti-corruption and assessment are agreed officially. Consequently, the administrators and staffs could perform their work honestly. Plus, the punishment guideline is also designed for those who are guilty. The annual budgeting plan and all expenses are approved from the community’s meeting. The final reports of all works are done as the information for everyone in the community. The assessments are done using the technological advancement so that people can access for information easily and equally. Moreover, the bureaucratic processes are shortened and it is much convenient for people to receive the service from the SAO. Connected with the customers through technology, the government officers can perform their works without favoritism. Then, the chance to corrupt is limited. Likewise, people can evaluate and give the true feedback towards the works and services leaded to further improvements. There is no report of corruption problems founded in Donkaew SAO. For the local level, people are involved in all assessments. They are working on the principle of good governance. The good governance committees, the procurement committees and the volunteers play an important role to assess the government’s works specifically for the budget. Therefore, it is guaranteed that all the funds are spent properly and effectively. The works both conducted by the government agencies and the traders are qualified. Also, in case of having the corrupted incident, it is not only very convenient but also safe to contact the government agencies through many communicative channels such as a telephone, a complaint application, an online device or the postal. However, there is no corruption problem reported for the past 16 years since the new procurement procedure was launched. Moreover, Donkaew SAO is rewarded nationally to be the best practice model of anti-corruption from the SAO network. So, we are ready to share our initiative as well as to work with other SAO or organizations in order to solve the corruption problems in Thailand. As our strong believe, our country would have been greatly developed without corruption problems.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Yes. The special measure used to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls is the collaborated participation. According to the 4 bases of the innovation of transparency city; to help thinking, to help making a decision, to help creating and to help developing, not only the women and children but everyone in the community is ensured to collaborate in all activities and projects. Moreover, this initiative helps creating the equal society that women, children and the elder people are as important as another group. The working spaces are opened for them to be parts of the assessment teams. So, when money was not wasted because of corruption, it will be used equally for everyone in the community such as improve the quality of life, use for competency development, job training for women and elder people and to employ the disabled people to work for the community.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Donkaew Sub-district Administrative Organization
Institution Type:   Local Government  
Contact Person:   Dr.Ubon Yawainawichai
Title:   Chief Administrator of the Donkaew SAO  
Telephone/ Fax:   +(66)5 312 1585 /+(66)5 312 1573
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   200 donkaew district
Postal Code:   50180
City:   maerim
State/Province:   Chiang Mai

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