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ACC recognised for integrity

His Majesty the King graced Anti corruption commission’s foundation day yesterday, in celebrating seven years of its existence, at the new office complex in Kawajangsa, Thimphu.

His Majesty said he was pleased to be able to spend the last official function on the last day of 2012 with the staff of the ACC.

Reminding the commission’s officials of the messages conveyed during the recent National Day celebration, His Majesty said all the institutions, having gained four and half years of experience in democracy, are vital to its success.

“Experience is critical. Experience teaches us to solve problems and clear disagreements,” His Majesty said. “It is only through experience that we can find the knowledge to set the right precedents, to strengthen democracy and to build a bright future.”

His Majesty also said these institutions were growing in the right direction but that all Bhutanese must remind themselves that this is just the beginning, and much work remains to be done.

As they sought to fulfill this important role in building a successful democracy, His Majesty assured the ACC and all the institutions his complete support.

His Majesty granted all the ACC employees with badges of integrity.

In 2005, His Majesty the Fourth King granted a royal decree stating an office of the anti corruption commission be established before the adoption of the Constitution, in order to build a strong foundation for the commission to effectively carry out its functions and responsibilities.

Subsequently, on December 31, 2005, the ACC was established.

Some of ACC’s investigations in past seven years

June: NRTI now named College of Natural Resources, Lobesa (The first case ACC handled)
Administrative sanctions imposed.

August: Illegal transfer of rural land in Gelephu (1st investigation of rural land)
Convicted & land restituted to the state

September: RICBL (1st investigation of a corporate body)
Acquitted of criminal charges; however, recoveries and administrative sanctions imposed besides advisory on systems improvement.

November: Nyisho gewog, Wangduephodrang (1st investigation on local government)
Acquitted by the appellate court

February: 1st investigation on elections in Gelephu

Candidate disqualified by ECB

June: Major investigation in mining industry

Convicted and funds to be restituted

Skills development project in Rangjung (1st investigation of donor funded project)
Investigation into health procurement and referral of patients.

March: bribery involving expatriates (1st investigation of hydropower project)

April: Road network project funded by ADB (1st investigation in collaboration with a whistle blower)

September: Investigation of Gyalpoizhing land allotment case (field)

January: Bajo land allotment under Royal Command – report submitted

January: Tendering flaw in Supreme court construction (1st investigation under Supreme Court’s writ)

November 13: Gyalpoizhing plot allotment case registered in Mongar Dzongkhag Court (1st case being prosecuted by ACC)

The operations started with four people, who worked from their previous offices and later from cramped private premises.

Today it has grown to 66 members, well equipped with modern facility.

For ACC employees, the occasion was that of pride, reinvigoration and inspiration to continue the arduous journey fearlessly but “responsibly, resolutely, humbly and fairly”.

Officials said it is also a move towards building a strong and motivated anti-corruption cadre.

“Just as His Majesty commanded, I will continue to work hard without fear and favour, with transparency, for the benefit of the nation in the long run,” an ACC official, Loday Tsheten, said.

“Message from His Majesty was very clear, that we cannot be complacent even if it meant a trivial corruption,” he said.

The day is being marked for the first time since its establishment .

By Rinzin Wangchuk

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