As Thailand has paid more and closer attention to anticorruption issues, a number of measures have been introduced and implemented over the years, including the establishment of the Complaint Center for Foreign Investors (CCFI) in 2015. The CCFI was set up by the Office of Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to promote transparency and integrity in the Thai public sector and enhance the confidence of foreign investors conducting business in Thailand.
Though the CCFI has been in operation for many years, many foreign investors conducting business in Thailand have either remained unaware of it or have been reluctant to use it because of concerns that acting against Thai public officials could cause problems for their businesses or in their personal lives. However, recently the PACC has made a renewed push to promote the CCFI as a suitable channel for foreign investors to lodge complaints when they face unfair services or treatment, or face requests for benefits from Thai public officials.
Lodging a Complaint with the CCFI
The CCFI was established to administer the PACC’s responsibilities under Section 58/2 of the Executive Measures in Anti-Corruption Act B.E. 2551 (2008), which authorizes the PACC to notify the superior of any state agency appearing to have regulations or procedures that fail to comply with the Licensing Facilitation Act; are deemed by the PACC to cause a nuisance or damages to a public service clientele; or cause severe detriment to a government service.
Practically, this means that when investors have a complaint that fits the scope described in the law, they can contact the CCFI, which will take action by getting the relevant agency or government authority to examine the issue. In cases concerning agency regulations and procedures, this will be the head of the relevant agency, but if the circumstances indicate malpractice in the public sector, the PACC will report to the Council of Ministers and the National Anti-Corruption Commission to take action in accordance with their authority.
For CCFI notifications to a government agency, the head of the relevant agency will proceed with the examination and must report the results back to the PACC within 60 days of receiving the notification. If the agency finds that improvement or amendments are required, the agency must also notify the PACC of how long these actions will take.
Complaints to the CCFI may be made orally or in writing, and investors can contact the CCFI through a number of channels:
- Telephone: 1206
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: www.pacc.go.th
If a complainant asks the CCFI to keep his or her identity confidential, the PACC is prohibited from disclosing the relevant information. Furthermore, all complainants and providers of statements or information to the PACC have the right to be protected from disclosure of their name or identity for their safety and to prevent unfair treatment from public officials.
Foreign investors seeking information or assistance with a complaint to the CCFI are encouraged to contact Tilleke & Gibbins at [email protected] or +66 2056 5555.