Govt agencies to be e-friendly

Traisuree: ‘No excuse not to comply’

The government has enacted a new law mandating that government agencies must have an electronic channel to serve the public, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said on Thursday.

The enforcement of the Act on Electronic Performance of Administrative Functions was published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday and will take effect 90 days later. It aims to help reform state administration by procuring technology to develop public services and make them accessible to all.

Ms Traisuree said all state agencies must obey the new law except for those related to lawmakers, judicial service, independent constitutional organisations, prosecutorial organisations and agencies that fall under ministerial regulations. Under the new act, government agencies must offer a digital communication channel of a high standard.

In addition, the public and business operators must be able to submit electronic documents to state agencies. Officials can no longer refuse to receive such e-documents, as stipulated by Section 7 of the new law — some sections of which have taken effect immediately.

Of these, Section 12 stipulates that state agencies are obliged to make copies of original documents for customers without charge. They must also revise any regulations that hinder digital communication between agencies and other people under Section 15.

Agencies must meet certain standards in terms of their technological communication network and submit a progress report to the cabinet in 240 days.

Section 22 states that following this digital plan is compulsory for all state agencies. A third party will update the cabinet every 60 days on how many agencies fail to comply with the law.

Agencies will be reminded of the new law every 15 days so there is no excuse for non-compliance, Ms Traisuree said.

Another announcement published in the Royal Gazette on Wednesday established “contract committees” to control business contracts related to the purchase or leasing of cars and motorcycles and taxis, which states that interest rates must fall within the range of 10-23%. This will take effect in 90 days.