Anti Corruption during the SUKHOTHAI ERA

During the Sukhothai era, there was crucial evidence that portrayed corruption prevention and suppression. On side one and two of the stone inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng, a portion of inscribed texts can be interpreted as follows :

"If a commoner and a nobleman are embroiled in a dispute, hearings must be conducted prudently before reaching a judgment without any bias towards the wrongdoer.

And you must not be distracted by bribery."

Another portion of inscribed texts can be interpreted as follows:


"Commoners are bestowed with the right to seek a complaint against public officers or file a grievance to demand justice from King Ramkhamhaeng concerning various matters, including unfair treatment by public officials or noblemen."

Anti corruption during the AYUTTHAYA Period

During the Ayutthaya period, people were obliged to join public services to serve the state.

However, since no one received any salary, each public servant had to make ends meet by themselves.

While serving as a public servant, earning a living from private jobs was not regarded as misconduct.

Even though public servants were permitted to garner some benefits from their posts, they could only do so within the scope of permitted practices.


If an act was deemed to transgress the scope of acceptable practice, it would be regarded as "embezzlement of state revenue" - a flagrant offense equivalent to treason which was punishable with the maximum penalty of death or a harsh penalty like lashing or the removal of noble status.

Anti corruption during the AYUTTHAYA Period

Source : Ongkarn Chang Nam poems.

During the reign of King Ramathibodi I, besides prescribing these laws, there was a sacred oath taking ritual that required public officials to “drink water of allegiance” in order to demonstrate honesty and integrity in performance of official duties. This ritual practice had been adopted until the Rattanakosin era. While performing the ritual, sacred texts were read aloud. The sacred texts or so-called “ongkarn,” which contain passages of poems and hymns, are composed of five key sections.

1 Extol the virtues of three Hindu gods, including Narayana, Siva and Brahma. (Three short hymns).

2 Describe origins of the earth and human society. Respectfully invite divine spirits, three jewels of Buddhism, and ghosts and spirits to witness the ritual.

3 Curse traitors and perpetrators of dishonesty against the king so that grave perils will befall them. (Five sections)

4 Give blessing to loyalists.

5 Give blessing to the king. (Only six paragraphs)

Anti Corruption during the Ayutthaya period

Royal decree (criminal law) (A.D. 1352)

Enacted in 1352, this royal decree on crimes contained provisions that allowed commoners to seek a complaint or an appeal in order to prosecute any public official or nobleman for wrongdoings in cases of unfair treatment.

Generally, a public official would embark on a journey from the capital city to receive a grievance.

Moreover, there were also provisions on several characteristics of offenses committed by public officials, such as

> Misconduct or omission of duties for the sake of bribery

> Persecution of commoners

> Embezzlement of crown properties

> Embezzlement of tributes and duties

Anti Corruption during the Ayutthaya period

Royal decree (criminal law) (A.D. 1352)

Enacted in 1360, the royal decree on characteristics of thieves contained provisions on various offenses committed by public officials.

As well as aiding and abetting thieves by hiding and harboring them as well as preventing them from standing trial before the royal court. Under these circumstances, these public officials would be subject to harsh penalties and hefty fines like a common thief.

Anti Corruption during the Ayutthaya period

Old royal decree (A.D. 1752)

The old royal decree contained provisions on corruption and malfeasance offenses of public officials. For instance, Chapter 12 stipulated that

“…If any mayor, administrative officer, village headman, district chief or commoner fails to comply with any section of the decree, such individual shall be subject to punishment.

And if any such mayor or administrative officer fails to comply with the royal decree by ignoring investigation and arrest of culprits and performing actions for the sake of bribes, personal interests and higher ranks, thereby causing the culprits to harass monks, nuns, Brahman priests, commoners and customers on land and sea, he shall be subject to severe punishments. 

Anti Corruption during the reign


The Kingdom of Siam began prescribing legal measures and enacting laws to prevent and combat corruption in a systematic manner.

During the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the Audit Department Act R.E. 109 was enacted, which contained 16 sections, along with the Penal Code R.E. 127. Part 2 Title 2 Chapter 2 of the Act concerned the abuse of power and misconduct in public office, and Sections 129-146 categorized penalties imposed on corruption offenses.

Anti corruption in Era of the State Inspectorate Department (A.D. 1945 - A.D. 1973)

A.D. 1945 - 1946

Promulgated on 26 September 1945, the Procedure for Misconduct or Incapacity of Government and Municipal Employees Act B.E. 2488 constituted the first legal provision which carried a structure and a special system of procedures particularly designed for public officials.

A.D. 1947 - 1948

The Royal Decree on the Procedure for Imposing Penalties for Misconduct or Incapacity of Government and Municipal Employees Act B.E. 1947 was promulgated but later repealed because the government believed that after enforcing special measures to prevent and combat corruption for a certain period, corruption would gradually decline to the point where special measures would be no longer necessary.

A.D. 1949

The Grievances Act B.E. 2492 was promulgated during Field Marshal Por. Phibun Songkram’s administration in order to form a grievances committee, comprised of a chairman and six other members, which was empowered to consider complaints filed by people suffering from hardship or injuries caused by government or municipal employees who committed acts outside the call of duty, demonstrated a dereliction of duty or abuse of discretion; or delayed in taking appropriate actions. During the proceeding, the committee had the authority to summon concerned individuals to testify and present evidence.

A.D. 1951

The People’s Resolution Committee was established.

A.D. 1953

Established on 31 December 1953, the State Inspectorate Department, which was attached to the political Cabinet, was authorized to conduct inquiries and investigations and to be vigilant of government employees’ conduct, thereby ensuring strict adherence to the constitution, laws, guidelines, regulations, government policies, cabinet resolutions, and prime minister’s orders in order to accomplish government missions in a timely manner. The State Inspectorate Department was dismantled in 1960 during Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat’s administration.

A.D. 1960

Under the mandate of the Inspection of Tax and Other State Revenues Act, the Tax Inspection Committee (TIC), comprised of a chairman and no more than nine other members, was formed. The Secretary-General of the Office of the Tax Inspection Committee was an ex-officio member. Its duties included inspection of tax and duty collection and receipt of complaints against revenue collection officers engaging in misconduct.

Anti Corruption post 14 October 1973 period

A.D. 1972

Following the coup staged by Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, the Revolutionary Council sought to streamline the state’s administrative procedures and reduce duplication between various government agencies. Consequently, the functions of inspectors general of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Public Grievances Office, and the Tax Inspection Committee were merged. Shortly thereafter, the Office of the Public Service Inspection Commission (OPSC), which was attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, was established under the mandate of the Revolutionary Council Notification No. 216 and 217, dated 29 September 1972. Under this mandate, the Secretary-General was responsible for OPSC’s overall management. Subsequently, the Public Service Inspection Commission (PSIC) was appointed by the Revolutionary Council Notification No. 324, dated 13 December 1972, whereby PSIC officials were authorized to arrest individuals suspected of committing an offense against the tax law based on reasonable doubt. If any individual obstructed or restricted officials in performance of their duties, or failed to appear at a deposition hearing or submit required documents or materials, he or she shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine not exceeding 10,000 Baht or both. The PSIC was dismantled after the 14 October 1973 uprising.

A.D. 1973

Following the 14 October 1973 uprising, the Sanya Dharmasakti’s administration recognized the importance of corruption prevention and suppression. Subsequently, on 2 May 1974, Sanya issued an order to establish the Commission of Counter Corruption (CCC)

Nevertheless, as this commission was about to convene, Sanya abruptly announced his resignation as Prime Minister.

A.D. 1974

Sanya Dharmasakti was re-appointed as Prime Minister for a second time, and he later ordered the re-establishment of the CCC. This commission carried out its duties until 31 December 1974 when it was abolished. Key achievements during that period can be summarized as follows: Out of 434 complaint cases scrutinized, 143 cases were resolved and 194 cases were referred to sub-committees, working groups and ad hoc sub-committees. Corruption was identified in 30 cases, which were then forwarded to the agencies where the cases originated for further actions. Lastly, inquiry committees were formed to investigate the facts and pursue disciplinary investigation in 20 cases.

A.D. 1975

The National Legislative Assembly endorsed the Counter Corruption Act B.E. 2518 on 24 January 1975. The law was later published in the Government Gazette on 3 March 1975 andhas entered into force since 4 March 1975.

A.D. 1977

The CCC Office was relocated from the Government House to Phitsanulok Road. During those pioneering years, the newly established CCC Office on Phitsanulok Road faced many constraints.

At that time, the CCC required selection of a qualified individual, who was honest and academically competent and possessed knowledge in other related matters. This appointment had to be endorsed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Moreover, the CCC could not be political official, senator, or member of parliament; or manager, board member, representative, or employee of any individual, partnership, company, or profit-oriented organization. The President and Commissioners served a two-year term and could be reappointed for another term, but they could not serve for more than two consecutive terms.

Mission of the CCC

•  Advise the Cabinet on measures to prevent and combat corruption in the public sector and the misconduct of public officials.

• Advise the cabinet to consider issuing orders requiring public officials to declare assets and liabilities for a specific time period by following the methods prescribed in the Royal Decree.

• Conduct fact-finding inquiries and investigations when a person files a complaint or when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a public official is involved in corruption or engaged in misconduct.

• Make recommendations to the cabinet on how to improve bureaucratic practices in the public sector or to plan government projects aimed at preventing and combating corruption.

• Report results of its mandated undertakings and present its observations to the prime minister, senate president, and house speaker in October (the end of each fiscal year); and publish an annual report.

• Conduct inquiries to establish the facts when the Commission identifies misconduct, or investigate allegations when a public official is unusually wealth or has an unusual increase in his or her assets.

Anti Corruption in the Black May uprising of 1992

Gen. Chartchai Choonhavan’s administration was toppled by the coup staged by the National Peacekeeping Council (NPKC) led by Gen. Soontorn Kongsompong on 23 February 1991. The issues concerning corruption of public officials became a hot topic again because the NPKC claimed that rampant corruption among politicians was one of the reasons for staging the coup. Consequently, the NPKC issued the National Peacekeeping Council Notification No. 26 Re: Asset Seizure and Prohibition on Sale and Transfer of Assets, and it also appointed the Asset Scrutiny Committee (ASC) to investigate politicians who possessed unusual personal wealth.

Not long after that, Thai society was plunged into the Black May uprising of 1992.

Anti Corruption in Era of the 1997 Constitution and independent organizations.

A.D. 1997

Shortcomings and loopholes of the CCC resulted in the restructuring and revamping of the inspection mechanisms. The 1997 Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand prescribed a provision for the inspection of the exercise of state power and the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), which is an impartial and independent body, to replace the Counter Corruption Commission (CCC).

A.D. 1999

On 17 November 1999, the Organic Act on Counter Corruption B.E. 2542 was promulgated, and it was then published in the Government Gazette Vol. 116, Part 114 on the same day. Consequently, the CCC was dismantled and superseded by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, or the NACC.

Mission of the NACC

Corruption prevention

• Suggest measures and provide opinions and recommendations to the Cabinet, Parliament or Court,

or the State Audit Commission for improvement of bureaucratic practices and other practices relating to corruption prevention and suppression.

• Promote proper attitudes and values which foster a sense of honesty.

• Encourage people to engage in collective efforts to prevent and combat corruption.

Corruption suppression

• Conduct fact-finding inquiries and present a case file summary for the Senate’s deliberation on removal of persons holding political positions and other public officials from office.

• Conduct fact-finding inquiries and prepare a case file summary to prosecute persons holding political positions engaging in misconduct pertaining to the Criminal Code, or those engaging in misconduct or abuse of office under to other laws.

• Conduct inquiries and determine whether senior officials or government employees at the director level or equivalent are unusually rich or commit an offense of corruption, malfeasance in office or malfeasance in juldicial office.

• Investigate the facts concerning offenses relating to bid submission to state agencies.

Inspection of assets and liabilities

• Stipulate the positions of public officials required to submit statements of assets and liabilities belonging to themselves as well as their spouses and minors to the NACC.

• Verify the accuracy, actual existence and changes of assets and liabilities of persons holding political positions and public officials based on submitted statements of assets and liabilities, as well as supporting documents.

• Conduct inquiries and deliberations in cases where persons holding political positions and public officials are alleged to be unusually wealthy in order to request seizure and transfer of assets into state coffers.

• Gather information about the positions required to declare assets and liabilities to the NACC.

A.D. 2008

There were overloaded cases in NACC The government has established the Executive organization in preventing and suppressing corruption named “Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) according to the Executive Measure Act on Anti-Corruption Commission B.E.2551

Propose policies, measures, and development plans on Anti-Corruption in Public Sector.

Supervise and inspect state officials and agencies.

Monitor and report information related to corruption in public sector.

Seek information and gather evidences, including conduct a fact inquiry for further disciplinary action and criminal proceeding against offenders under relevant laws.