Athapol Charoenshunsa, the interim chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation, has been sworn in, promising to restore justice for state forest authorities and promote openness in order to rebuild public trust.
The appointment comes after the department’s credibility was harmed by a bribery scandal involving the former chief, Rutchada Suriyakul Na Ayutya.
In his new capacity, Athapol stated that he intends to form a committee to evaluate and adjust post-transfers ordered by Rutchada, as well as to guarantee that transfers are made based on the best applicant for each position.
Athapol also stated that his first aim is to restore justice for any employees who may have been treated unfairly, and that he has complete power from the government to do so. He also intends to meet with a number of local police, including the forest fire prevention unit, which has been plagued by a “missing budget,” to discuss aid.
In the Rutchada case, Athapol stated that the department is giving information to the committee investigating the disciplinary measures as asked. The committee is presently investigating whether Rutchada is guilty of corruption accusations in collaboration with the National Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The results are scheduled to be released next month.