Whenever the Thai government needs to purchase or construct something, a process called the business bidding is performed to find the cheapest and most efficient business entity to carry out the project or scheme. The bidding process is supposed to be a fair and transparent to ensure that the government pays the lowest price for goods and services. However this process does not work in practice due to one huge age-old obstacle, corruption. Indeed, there are huge amounts of corruption and the majority of projects are usually not awarded to the companies that offer the best “cost-benefit” deals. By awarding the projects unfairly to certain companies, profiting only small groups of people, the government is wasting the people’s tax money and jeopardizing a healthy society. Corruption is rumored to waste as much as thirty percent of the total project cost, which is a large sum of money that is circumvented from the national budget, creating huge deficits and may hamper foreign investment, as well as, decelerating the national growth economically.
Unarguably, Thailand is one of the great places on earth to live, however, there have always been some underlying problem with corruption. Sadly, corruption has rooted deeply into virtually all segments of the society and has existed in various forms for centuries. Money is power and it works for you if you have it but against you if you are lacked of it. The perfect government should govern the country with righteousness and fairness. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Thailand. A great example to prove this predicament is the business bidding process for government projects and/or works.
Corruption is on its move to degrade many Asian countries’ economy and development. Thailand is no exception. The problem is said to exist for more than a century and is widely recognized as one of the major issues disrupting the economic and social progress of Thailand. The problem of corruption has been around for a long time in Thailand and its roots are deep in the culture. In 2010 Thailand was recognized ranked at 78 out of 178 as the least corrupted country. (International, 2010).Although, the country is not among the last, the figure is still far from acceptable. Denmark scored only 9.3 out of 10 in the best honesty ranking, which ranges from 10 for very clean to 0 for distinctively corrupted. Even in Singapore our neighbor got 9.3 out of 10. In Phongpaichit et al., 2000 ‘s document reported that household heads rank corruption in the public sector as the third most serious national problem, following the poor economy and cost-of-living, and closely followed by drugs. The police and member of parliaments are viewed as the least honest public institutions. Among a long list of public institutions, these two were rated as the lowest, followed by the Ministry of Interior and the Customs Department. (Pasuk Phongpaichit, 2000)
Corruption is a parasite of the society. There are many ways to corrupt and various bad examples can be seen from the past to present. Some common corruption examples range from receiving a small bribe by base echelon officials to gaining huge sum of money from abusing power in mega project by politicians. The United Nation’s website stated that this problem can potentially undermine the institutions and values of democracy, ethical values and justice, and jeopardizing sustainable development and the rule of law (UNODC, 2011).
In Thailand, one type of the notorious corruption is found during the “project bidding process”. Officers from municipalities and towns, to provincial to national or federal governments are among those who perform this infamous act. Whenever the Thai government needs to purchase or construct something, it supposes to think about the costs, benefits and welfare of the nation as a whole. Government contract bidding is, by...