16 destitute centre directors transferred pending disciplinary probe

The directors of 16 protection centre for the destitute have been ordered transferred to assist work in the Department of Social Development and Welfare pending a disciplinary probe against them.

The department director-general, Mrs Napa Setthakorn, said Wednesday (March 14) that parallel investigation by the department found evidence of corruption in 21 provincial centres for the destitute out of a total of 56 centres and self-help cooperatives checked by the department’s investigators.

She said the department’s internal findings regarding the number of centres tainted with corruption differ with the report of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), citing, for an example, the centres in Ang Thong and Ayutthaya which were cleared of any wrongdoings while PACC report suggested otherwise.

Nevertheless, Mrs Napa said officials from the department would visit the provinces in question to double-check whether there was corruption in the centres there or not.

Of the 16 directors of centres for the destitute being transferred, she disclosed that seven of them used to serve at self-help cooperatives in Phatthalung, Songkhla and Yala and the centre for the development of highland people in Chiang Mai.

Because of their background, she said the investigation has covered self-help cooperatives and highland people development centres which received more than 10-million-baht budget.

Meanwhile, disciplinary probe against the director of Khon Kaen centre where the alleged embezzlement of fund for the destitute was first exposed is still ongoing as the director has asked for more time to gather evidence in his defence, said Mrs Napa, adding that she expected a result within March 31.