Auditor-General insists submarine project above board

Auditor-General Phisit Leelavachiropas reiterated on Monday that the Royal Thai Navy's procurement of three Chinese-made Yuan-class S26T submarines at a total cost of 36 billion baht was above board and in accordance with budgetary procedure.

He insisted that the Office of the Auditor-General did not whitewash the procurement project for the government or any governmental unit and would not put its prestige at risk for anybody.

Mr Phisit said the project had gone through all the required procedures and met requirements, including approval by the government, regulations of the Office of Auditor-General, budgetary procedure and parliamentary scrutiny.

The project will tie up budgets for six years, starting this year.

The auditor-general explained that the submarines were considered as armament and did not fall under the normal procurement as it concerns security affairs. He added that an open auction was staged with six countries participating in the auction.

He insisted that there was no irregularity in the procurement project. He added that he would coordinate with the Chinese office of Auditor-general to make sure that everything would proceed properly and in accordance with procedure.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)