Social development and human security permanent secretary Mr Putthipat Lertchaowasit and his deputy, Mr Narong Kongkham, were temporarily relieved from civil service pending investigation into their alleged involvement in the widespread stealing of fund for the destitute and poor.
Social Development and Human Security Minister Anantaporn Kanchanarat told the media that the cabinet decided at a meeting today (Tuesday) to relieve the two senior officials from the service and, at the same time, appointed Mr Paramethi Wimonsiri, secretary-general of the Economic and Social Development Commission, as the new permanent secretary replacing Mr Putthipat.
Praising Mr Paramethi as suitable for the job, General Anantaporn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wanted the former to make preparations for social development work in the future with priorities on the ageing people and children.
He said the limited shakeup at the ministry with the removal of the permanent secretary and his deputy was not an act to dispel the perceived curse against the ministry as speculated, but a timely act to restore public confidence following the ongoing corruption scandal.
Regarding the investigation into the scandal, the minister said that, so far, 95 officials had been implicated and investigation panels had been set up separately by the ministry and the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission to consider disciplinary actions against them.
Starting as of May 1, he said that allowances for the destitute would be directly wired into their bank accounts via PromptPay instead of being hand-delivered in cash by the officials to the recipients.