News / Science & Technology

Bribespot: Fighting Corruption in Thailand One Click at a Time

Bribespot: Fighting Corruption in Thailand One Click at a Timei
X
September 12, 2013 4:28 PM
Reporting corruption, at least unofficially, in Thailand is becoming easier with a new Thai version of an international smartphone application. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has details from Bangkok.
Reporting corruption, at least unofficially, in Thailand is becoming easier with a new Thai version of an international smartphone application.
 
As it is in many developing countries, bribery is ubiquitous in Thailand.  A Transparency International survey found that one-fourth of those in the country acknowledged making a payoff at least once a year.
 
But the government's Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said it only received about 4,000 complaints annually through its telephone hotline, Website and walk-in center.
 
Now people in Thailand have a more convenient way to informally report corruption.

The local version of Bribespot, created by a Lithuanian living in Germany, allows anyone with access to a smartphone or computer to pinpoint where, to whom and how much they paid a bribe. The reports are then published and mapped online.
 
PACC deputy secretary general Prayong Preeyachitt sees such innovations as Blogspot as helping to combat corruption.

“It is a good use of technology to help solve the corruption problem. But I am worried about our office getting overwhelmed by the number of claims it could generate. However the application is very useful for our job and the prime minister endorses this project,” he said.
 
Commission officials said they were willing to disseminate information through their nine regional offices to let the public know about this new method of detailing corruption.
 
"I had to pay a policeman because he said my vehicle's number plate was too dirty to read clearly. This application may be very useful because we can be anonymous and we do not know to whom we should report such incidents," said one office worker.

"I have already heard about this application. I think it will be useful," said one young woman.

"Social networks can be valuable for this problem. But this application needs more functions to provide sufficient evidence, such as audio or a video clip," a salesman said.
 
But some, including a local newspaper, are skeptical about Bribespot's potential effectiveness here, saying while graft is talked about a lot in Thailand, it is generally tolerated by the public. Such payments result in reduced fines from police officers and faster service at government offices.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid