Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing of the 2023 annual review and directives setting for 2024 of the Ministry of Inspection [Unofficial Translation]

CMF:

(1) Inspection work is to keep our house clean – the core principle of the 7th legislative-term Royal Government

[…] In the pentagonal strategy as well as the previous rectangular strategy, the core issue was governance. What does governance mean? (It means) preparing our house clean before going out to see other people’s house. Prepare our house to be clean and comfortable so that we can work well to serve the people […] from one term to the next, this work has been done continuously […] the name of the Ministry in charge has been changed, and it reaffirms the Royal Government’s willingness to sharpen the duties of the Ministry of Inspection to play a more active assisting role for the Royal Government in strengthening this governance work. The management of the state cannot be effective if the self-government is not clear […] therefore, the reform of the national institutional inspection is an important task for the government of the seventh legislative term, whose work is the core principle […]

(2) To achieve modern, highly efficient, intelligent and clean public administration

The core principle is to reform, strengthen governance and modernize state institutions to become modern, highly efficient, intelligent and clean public administration. To accomplish this task, monitoring, observing, researching the process and performance of work to assess the responsibilities and judge the advantages, disadvantages, (deem) important to achieve improvements […] some has had the feeling that being “inspected” is (understood) to be arrested […] let me reaffirm here that we observe the approach of five elements – mirroring, bathing, rubbing off dirt, healing, and taking surgery. This inspection work is to help with the first four approaches […] please do not consider the inspection work as the work that will arrest you because the first four approaches reflect the advantages and disadvantages that we can help each other […]

(3) Monitoring requires human resources, mechanism and procedures, and judicial norms

Strengthening inspections is necessary to achieve a core approach of effective, clean and credible government – I said. Monitoring mechanisms are important, and inspection is a complex task that requires capacity building. There are three main characteristics – human resources, mechanisms and procedures, and legal standards. First, human resources […] how can someone check on someone else if they themselves do not have the ability […] it requires each inspection officer, each inspection unit have strong human resources to carry out the tasks […] if we are not clear on the work ourselves, how can we advise anyone? It will be blurred […] and need to strengthen the capacity of national institute of inspection, the role of institutions, and each ministry must have a mechanism (to deal with this issue) […]

The second (requirement) is the working mechanism and the working method […] as far as I learnt from some departments of the ministries/institutions, for both the audit and the internal/external inspection, they had to go through it seven times on the same work annually […] we issued the Sub-Decree 168 in 2020, the Sub-Decree 40 in 2005 and later the amended Sub-Decree 265 in 2023 to try to coordinate (the inspection demands) so as not to overlap on this matter […]

We have been doing this for 20 years, as far as I know. We try to adjust and have been thinking if there are four national institutions (doing inspection work), can we set up a top mechanism to facilitate those mechanisms’ activities, or assign certain tasks to any institution and offering a leading monitoring task to an institution. In addition to the sub-decrees, we need someone to look keep an eye on it […]

Maybe we can review the assignment of any task or set up a policy committee or a task force of some kind to monitor and facilitate this work […] especially since I have set the goal to strengthen the entire institutions, whereas all ministries readjust their internal structures in 2024. They have to review the structure, role, duties and mechanisms of government within the inter-institutional framework. Otherwise, we continue on the path of (uncertainty), meaning that jobs pile up in some places, and there could be gaps in some others […]

Thirdly, it is concerning the framework of judicial norms […] (as I said,) please review the promotion of the implementation of sub-decree 168, 265, 40, plus check the actual condition whether it is consistent with the situation or not, or how do we go about modifying it […] fourthly, check the mechanism in ministries, institutions or national level it they have overlapping works […] M&E will be based on indicators […] when doing spot checking from time to time in some works, we would be able to identify overlapping areas – which will spend human resources, cause more trouble than solving problem, and disturb institutions or departments that are actually carrying out their works […] and (fifthly) to push for the adoption of the law on inspection in 2024[…] I urge that we prepare this law and adopt it as soon as possible for it is a basis for inspection skills […]

(4) Ministers, Mayors of Cities and Governors of Provinces shall accept feedbacks from the inspection/audit work

We want readjustment. No one is perfect. As I said, the four approaches of mirroring, bathing, scrubbing, and healing need to have information provided to help strengthen the institution. Ministers, mayors of cities, and governors of provinces should not be afraid to receive feedback from this work, and according to each ministry, institution, department, I think it should be welcomed so that we can strengthen ourselves. This is to help the ministers, heads of institutions, governors of the capital/province to monitor the implementation of their works […]

(5) Depend on no individual influence to do the inspection work

Once we have clear roles and divisions of responsibilities […] it increases the resilience and sustainability of work […] what does that mean? Once we have established a clear working system, we no longer depend on (the influence of) individuals. There will be no more words about until the head of the inspection has influential power (as before) to go talk (to the inspected institutions). Now that the new minister is underweight, it is impossible to go talk to them […] If everyone knows the role and the task, s/he does not depend on the individual influence. We want the system to be based not on individual influences but on the consensus of the system. Do not let people teach the system, but the system teaches people […]./.

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