THAILAND'S GOVERNMENT GOES DIGIT AL
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'