THAI­LAND'S GOV­ERN­MENT GOES DIGIT AL

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Thai­land's Elec­tronic Gov­ern­ment Agency (EGA) has pledged that at least four in five gov­ern­ment-is­sued cit­i­zen iden­tity pa­pers will go elec­tronic in 2017. The move, which will sup­pos­edly al­low Thai cit­i­zens and busi­nesses eas­ier ac­cess to gov­ern­ment ser­vices, comes as the lat­est in a cam­paign to con­vert the King­dom's pa­per­based bu­reau­cracy into a more trans­par­ent sys­tem. The shift to­ward e-gov­ern­ment will be achieved in part through an in­te­rior min­istry in­vest­ment of al­most $3m that will in­clude the pro­cure­ment of 200,000 smart card read­ers across state agen­cies. EGA pres­i­dent Sak Segk­hoodthon told lo­cal me­dia that the mea­sure would slash bu­reau­cratic red tape for Thai na­tion­als and busi­nesses. "We aim to lift Thai­land's rank­ing on the ease of do­ing busi­ness in­dex to the world's top 46 out of 190 coun­tries in 2017," he said. The full switch to dig­i­tal, ex­pected in June this year, may also curb low-level cor­rup­tion en­demic in the na­tion's bu­reau­cracy. Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional dropped Thai­land down 25 places to 101st in its Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tions In­dex 2016 – the coun­try's worst rank­ing in five years.

Thai po­lice of­fi­cers in­spect pass­ports. The coun­try is un­der­go­ing a shift to­ward an 'e-gov­ern­ment'

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