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Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) was established by virtue of the Digital Development for Economy and Society Act B.E. 2560 (A.D. 2017) promulgated on 23 January 2017, the second year in the Reign of King Rama X to take the role of a government agency, whose status was a legal entity and not a government service according to the National Government Organization Act or a state enterprise according to the  Budget Procedure Act and none other. The agency aimed to support and promote the development of digital industry and innovation, support and promote digital technology adoption which benefit the national economy, society, culture, and security according to Article 34 of the Act. A Commission, whose members had been appointed by the Minister of Digital Economy and Society, was authorized to regulate and ensure the agency’s performance.

Article 34 entitled the agency a supreme authority in the following area:

  1. Formulate Digital Economy Promotion Strategic Plan in line with the national policy and plan regarding the digital development for economy and society
  2. To promote and support the investment or business operation in relation to the digital industry and innovation.
  3. To promote and support the development of digital industry and innovation in collaboration with the relevant agencies.
  4. To promote, support and implement promote the human resource development  with regard to digital industry and  innovation.
  5. To propose, accelerate and follow up the law amendment or adjustment of regulations or measures in relation  to the intellectual property protection of digital  industry and innovation in collaboration with the relevant agencies.
  6. To perform any other duties assigned by the Commissioners, Special Commissioners, depa’s Board of Commissioners or stipulated by legislation.

Article 43 also entitled the agency a supreme authority in the following areas:

  1. To hold ownership, possess and have property rights.
  2. Establish rights or legal act of all types for the benefit of the operation of depa
  3. To make the agreement and cooperate with public and private organizations both domestic and international on the activities in relation to the implementation of the objectives of depa.
  4. To hold shares , be a  business partner or mutually invest with other person to achieve the objectives stated in Article 34.
  5. Apply for a loan for the sake of depa’s operation as per the objectives set forth.
  6. Collect a fee, compensation or any service charge on matters  related to depa’s operation as per  the  objectives set forth.
  7. Take any necessary or continuing action to achieve depa’s objectives set forth.

depa's Board of Commissioners are authorized to provide recommendation and endorse  the agency’s Digital Economy Promotion Master Plan, issue regulations or measures to enhance flexibility, efficiency and traceability. depa's President/ CEO, entitled by the Act, shall be the secretary of Board of Commissioners for management and be the chief executive of all officers and employees.

For the initial 180 days after this Act comes into force from the day following the announcement in the Government Gazette, the Minister has appointed the temporary Board of Directors and the President/CEO of depa until nomination can be completed. During the first phase of operation, Asst. Prof. Dr. Nattapon Nimmanpatcharin, President/CEO of depa, has set up the human resource structure with 303 employees in accordance to depa’s Regulation on Finance and Business Administration B.E. 2560, Regulation on Human Resource Management B.E. 2560 and Regulation on the operation of depa. Later, the logo of depa, known as ‘tawicha’ was officially launched. Designed by Mr. Aunnop Niratorn, the yellowish triangular arrows symbolize the economy, society, and culture. The overlapping arrows signifies ‘moving forward’ while the unified arrow represents unity and harmony in work. Yellow is the color of technology and Monday.

At the end of the initial phase of operation, depa has proposed the classification of public organizations to the Office of the Public Sector Development Commission (OPDC) for consideration as following:

Group 1: Develop and implement key national policies which have to be approved by the Cabinet

Group 2: Provision of services that use specialized technical or interdisciplinary Techniques

Group 3: Provision of general public services

Later, the Commission on Development and Promotion of Public Organization has classified depa as a public organization under Group 1 and OPDC has proposed to the Cabinet for approval on July 11, 2017.

On parallel, the Subcommittee on the nomination of President of depa was appointed and to be completed within 180 days after this Act comes into force. On July 20, 2017, Asst. Prof. Dr. Nattapon Nimmanpatcharin was nominated as the President/CEO of depa followed by Vice President namely Mr. Chatchai Khunpitiluck, Dr. Ratthasart Korrasud, Dr. Kasititorn Pooparadai, and Dr. Passakorn Prathombutr according to Article 50. Later, the Subcommittee on the nomination of Board of Commissioners was appointed. President/ CEO of depa acts as the secretary of the Subcommittee until the Board of Commissioners were nominated on July 24, 2017.

Since its establishment on January 23, 2017, the guiding philosophy of depa is to work for Thai people on the ‘People First’ principle. Its premise is initially located at Government Complex Commemorating His Majesty the King's 80th Birthday Anniversary 5th December, B.E. 2550 Building B, 120, 9th floor, Chaengwattana Road, Lak Si District, Bangkok 10210 and later moved to 80 Ladprao Hill Building , Soi 4, Ladprao Road, Chomphon, Chatuchak District, Bangkok 10900 until the present.

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