Thai PBS to revise its investment regulation following CPF bonds fiasco

The board of governors of Thai PBS has announced that it would set up a panel to revise Article 9 of the regulations governing financing, accounting and budgeting of the public broadcaster after the Council of State has reconfirmed the ruling of the Office of Auditor-General (OAG) that the article in question contravenes with the 2008 Thai PBS Act.

Thai PBS management led by director Krisda Ruang-areerat bought 193 million baht worth of Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF) bonds on Jan 20, 2017, citing Article 9 of the 2015 regulation on financing, accounting and budgeting which allows the public broadcaster to make use of its funding to make profits.

The share deal provoked public criticism against the then management, questioning the legitimacy of the deal and the objective of the public broadcaster, finally leading to the resignation of Mr Krisda.

Krisda Ruang-areerat

The OAG ruled in June that the bond investment was not correspond with the objective for the creation of the organization and the 2015 regulation is against the Thai PBS Act.

The Thai PBS board of the governors, however, disagreed with the OAG’s ruling and asked the Council of State, the government’s legal arm, to consider whether Article 9 of the regulations is against the Thai PBS Act as ruled by the OAG or not.

The Council of the State ruled on Nov 7 that the Thai PBS Act does not empower the public broadcaster to make use of its funding to buy bonds or to make investment.  Hence, the issuance of Article 9 of the financing regulation allowing Thai PBS to use its funding to make profits through investments is beyond the main duty and objective of the organization and does not correspond with the 2008 Thai PBS Act.

The ruling by the Council of State prompted the Thai PBS board of governors to set up a panel to revise Article 9 of the financing regulation.

In a statement issued on Nov 16, the board of governors said they would take into account the Council of State’s opinions.