NACC calls for probe into BMA’s electric truck project

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) urged the Secretariat of the Cabinet to scrutinise the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s (BMA) 3.99-billion-baht project aimed at leasing electric garbage trucks, amid concerns of potential corruption.

NACC chairman Watcharapol Prasarnrajkit submitted a formal letter to the secretariat yesterday, July 3, providing detailed recommendations on how to prevent corruption in these large-scale projects. The commission had received several complaints calling for an investigation into four BMA plans to lease a total of 842 electric garbage trucks over five years.

These trucks are intended to replace the current fleet of diesel trucks, whose lease contracts are set to expire this year. The total value of these projects stands at 3.99 billion baht, with funding allocated during the last fiscal year.

The letter highlighted potential non-compliance with BMA budget regulations and warned that modifications to the projects could lead to increased costs for the BMA. It also raised concerns about various uncertainties in project management.

These uncertainties include the specifications of the electric garbage trucks, the scope of the lease, the cost of constructing and managing charging stations, the trucks’ capacity and maintenance expenses, and the implementation of pilot projects.

The letter warned these uncertainties might lead to the electric trucks’ ineffectiveness, the exclusion of certain truck suppliers, and adverse impacts on the BMA’s solid waste management.

To address these concerns, the NACC provided the BMA and the Cabinet with three key recommendations for preventing corruption, under Section 35 of the Organic Act on Anti-Corruption 2018, which empowers the NACC to investigate potentially corrupt cases.

Effective management plans

The NACC noted that the new projects would significantly change the type of solid waste collection trucks being leased by the BMA. As a result, it recommended that these projects fall outside the jurisdiction of the Bangkok governor.

“The new projects will lead to substantial changes in the type of solid waste collection trucks, and therefore, should not be under the Bangkok governor’s authority.”

Secondly, the commission suggested that the truck specifications should focus on the effectiveness of the trucks, ensuring that all suppliers have equal opportunities in the bidding process.

“Specifications must be linked to the trucks’ effectiveness to guarantee equal bidding opportunities for all suppliers.”

Lastly, the NACC emphasised the necessity for the BMA to develop clear and effective management plans for these projects. Failure to do so could undermine the BMA’s intended objectives.

“The BMA should establish well-defined and efficient management plans to achieve its goals.”

These recommendations aim to safeguard the BMA’s resources and ensure that the transition to electric garbage trucks enhances the city’s waste management system without falling prey to corruption, reported Bangkok Post.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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