ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation
AFTER being heavily criticised by the public, the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) policy committee yesterday defended its decision to terminate director-general Somchai Suwanban’s contract last week by saying it was legitimate and had not been influenced by outsiders.
In an attempt to tackle the questions raised by the public, the policy committee issued a second statement, signed by board chairman Associate Professor Narong Petchprasert, saying that the decision to end Somchai’s contract was based on the Thailand Public Broadcasting Service Organisation Act.
The statement said that Somchai had been informed on October 2 that he had failed his preliminary evaluation and a week later the committee asked him either to quit voluntarily or to accept the grade. However, it said, Somchai refused to budge.
It also said Somchai had broken his contract by ignoring suggestions offered on solving problems related to the channel’s management competency. The panel also claimed that the former Thai PBS boss had repeatedly breached regulations by approving four projects worth more than Bt50 million each without getting a green light from the board.
However, Somchai insists all the projects were approved by the board, and that they were mainly related to the roll-out of the terrestrial-based digital TV network, which began in October 2013. The issue is under investigation, and Somchai said last week that he was waiting for a chance to clarify matters.
In response, the investigators asked him to testify at the Thai PBS head office yesterday. However, the meeting had to be cancelled, as some members failed to show up, leaving Somchai waiting in vain for three hours.
Somchai chose to cancel his plan to take his case to the Central Administrative Court, because he wanted to speak to the board and let them know that he considered its decision unfair and illegitimate.
Yesterday evening, Thai PBS executives also held a meeting with employees to explain the board’s decision. A group of employees had gathered at the headquarters earlier yesterday and submitted asked Narong in writing for clarification.
Meanwhile, when asked about Somchai’s departure having an impact on the digital roll-out plan, Sombat Leelapata, acting deputy secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, said yesterday that the NBTC broadcasting committee had acknowledged that the Thai PBS management reshuffle was an internal affair. But as a national provider of a digital TV transmission network, Thai PBS was being faithful to its commitments.
Though the termination of Somchai’s contract remains questionable, the Thai PBS policy committee yesterday appointed a selection panel to find a replacement for him.