Corruption rife in construction projects, says prominent engineer

Corruption rife in construction projects, says prominent engineer - TNA, September 16, 2004
...Many of the owners and contractors involved in country's construction projects have paid enormous kickbacks to government officials for building approval, amounting to as much as 30% of the total costs, the president of the national engineering institute, Totrakul Yomanak said on Wednesday.
Getting approval for the project's designs usually requires the biggest kickback payment...


2014 note: Like many Thai newspaper articles from the early days of the Thai internet, this article is no longer online. Below is the complete text of the original article.

Corruption rife in Thai construction projects, says prominent engineer

BANGKOK, Sept 16 (TNA) - Corruption among government officials in the construction business has increased significantly over the last three years, according to the chief of the national engineering institute.

Many of the owners and contractors involved in country's construction projects have paid enormous kickbacks to government officials for building approval, amounting to as much as 30% of the total costs, the president of the national engineering institute, Totrakul Yomanak said on Wednesday.

Getting approval for the project's designs usually requires the biggest kickback payment.

Earlier this week, Sumet Tantivejakul, the President of a Thai anti-corruption foundation -- Muang Thai Sai Sa-Ad Foundation, claimed Thailand had lost some 12 trillion baht in corruption involving large construction projects.

He cited a survey done by the country's engineering institute.

However, he admitted on Wednesday that the 12 trillion baht figure was actually a typing error in a report of a national economic and social advisors' council.

The actual figure for the cost of corruption was 1.2 trillion baht.

Mr. Totrakul has demanded that the government seriously deal with the problem in corruption in the country's construction business when it launches its clean up campaign against corruption on 3 October.

Kickbacks have substantially added to the cost of construction, as the contractors are likely to push the burden onto their customers, or lower the quality of construction materials in the project to avoid incurring losses.

It is well known that many government construction projects are much more expensive than their actual costs because of corruption.

(TNA)-E112, E002
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