From 30 August to 8 September 2019 Chief Ombudsman of Thailand and IOI Treasurer Mr. Viddhavat Rajatanun led a delegation consisting of Ombudsman Boon Tapanadul, Ombudsman Somsak Suwansujarit, Secretary-General Raksagecha Chaechai, and staff from the office of the Ombudsman Thailand (OMT), to Perth, Western Australia and Wellington New Zealand.
While in Perth, the OMT delegation conducted a high-level policy meeting with Mr. Chris Field, Western Australian Ombudsman and IOI Second Vice President. In the same occasion, Chief Ombudsman Viddhavat Rajataun, on behalf of OMT, also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ombudsman Thailand and the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrative Investigation Western Australia (Ombudsman Western Australia), represented by Mr. Chris Field. This MOU stands as OMT’s first bilateral cooperation outside Asian and Western Australian Ombudsman’s first MOU since the institution’s establishment in 1971. This cooperation shall cover a period of 5 (five) years and will automatically be extended for another 5 (five) years. The scope of activities include the redress of grievances of Thai and Western Australian nationals within the Parties’ respective jurisdictions and the exchange of best practices in working experiences which may lead to the development of training courses and the exchange of staffs.
Following the MOU signing between both Parties, the Western Australian Ombudsman also took the OMT delegation for comprehensive study visits to public accountability institutions in Perth namely the Office of the Auditor General; Office of the Information Commissioner; Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People; Office of the Inspector Custodial Services; the Corruption and Crime Commission; and Office of the Public Sector Commission.
The delegation then travelled to Wellington to participate in the high-level policy meeting with Mr. Peter Boshier, Chief Ombudsman of New Zealand and Regional President of the IOI’s Australasia and Pacific Region. Both sides agreed in principle to develop a new bilateral MOU to strengthen the relations between both institutions; as well as discussed the cooperation under the IOI UN Working Group for which both Mr. Rajatanun and Mr Boshier are members. OMT also raised the matter regarding the South East Asian Ombudsman Forum (SEAOF), an initiative spearheaded by OMT in creating a multilateral platform for Ombudsman colleagues in South East Asia to cooperate and share best practices among each other. OMT and the Ombudsman of New Zealand were in favour of seeking the possibility of extending cooperation between APOR and SEAOF following SEAOF’s establishment in February 2020.
During this occasion, the delegation also met with the Mr. Reuben Kooperman, Thai Honorary Consul in Perth and the delegation from the Royal Thai Embassy in Wellinton, together with representatives of the Thai community in New Zealand to discuss the livelihoods of Thais in both countries.
Source: Office of the Ombudsman of Thailand