Source: Government Of Thailand
Headline: Anti-Corruption Measures against Illegal Issuance of Land Title Deeds
The illegal issuance of land ownership documents is a major problem, resulting in a great loss of many forest areas in Thailand. In order to tackle this problem, the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) has worked out draft measures to prevent the corrupt practice of issuing illegal land title deeds.
A public forum has been organized to listen to the views of the people on the draft measures. Additional suggestions and recommendations on the issue can be sent to the NACC, which will compile them into a report to be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration.
These measures involve proposals on strict law enforcement, law amendments, the use of a mechanism to ease this problem, the improvement of the management structure, information linkage, and the participation of all sectors.
Under the draft measures, the Department of Lands will set stricter regulations and clearer procedures for the operations of officials responsible for issuing land title deeds. Legal and disciplinary actions will be taken against officials involved in corrupt practices. In case that land ownership documents have been issued for plots that might overlap public land, the provincial committee to tackle encroachment on public land must be informed, so that it would conduct an investigation into the case.
One of the proposals is that the demarcation lines of forest areas must be clearly set, based on the same standard across the country. Aerial photographs on the issue should also be disseminated to the public, who will be encouraged to join the investigation. A new law should be issued to effectively solve the problem concerning encroachment into public land.
The Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and other relevant agencies will jointly establish an information center and work in an integrated manner for the issuance of land title deeds, with the Department of Lands as the core agency.
A report on forest areas in Thailand, released by the Royal Forest Department, indicated that, in 1973, forests covered 43.2 percent of Thailands land area. In 2013, this figure fell to 31.57 percent.
As of 31 December 2016, the National Anti-Corruption Commission received 131 complaints on the illegal issuance of land title deeds. From its investigation, corruption cases mainly involved bribery and the issuance of land title deeds for plots that are not eligible for these documents.