BANGKOK — A law issued by His Majesty the King requiring civil servants to follow a strict code of conduct becomes effective on Wednesday.
Published in the Royal Gazette yesterday, the Ethics Standard Act places nearly every state agency under a review committee headed by the prime minister. The committee is tasked with ensuring that officials behave in accordance with the principles set by the law.
Section 5 requires all civil servants affected by the law to possess the following ethics:
- Commitment to the nation, religion, monarchy and democratic regime with the King as head of state.
- Honesty, good spirits and responsibility to duties
- Courage to decide and act on what is righteous
- An ability to prioritize the greater good over personal interests
- Dedication to the success of one’s works
- Fair and impartial performance of duties
- Preservation of the bureaucracy’s good image
Section 3 of the law says it covers all ministries, departments, local administrations and state enterprises. Exceptions include the parliament’s office, the courts and agencies that operate independently of the government.
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The Act also sets up a 12-person committee chaired by the incumbent prime minister to review state agencies for compliance with the prescribed standards, promote those values, settle disputes involving the law, and advise the government on related matters.
There is no mention of how infractions are punished under the law. The Act’s preamble says King Vajiralongkorn enacted the law with advice from the interim parliament after he issued a royal decree calling for legislation to govern ethical standards.
In an audience with his royal bodyguards on April 13, the King urged them to always do the right thing for their country. His Majesty also said values passed down over generations are not obsolete.
“The country’s history, customs, traditions, and correct values are not outdated,” His Majesty said at Dusit Palace. “They must be preserved.”
The monarch is set to be formally crowned in an elaborate three-day ceremony from May 4 through 6.