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Abuse of function, embezzlement, and bribery were the top three corruption offences in the country today. Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) officials at a sensitisation workshop on National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (NIACS) 2019-2023 yesterday attributed these problems to weak systems, poor professionalism, and lack of ethics and integrity. 

Curbing corruption, a long journey ahead

Chimi Dema 

Abuse of function, embezzlement, and bribery were the top three corruption offences in the country today.

Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) officials at a sensitisation workshop on National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (NIACS) 2019-2023 yesterday attributed these problems to weak systems, poor professionalism, and lack of ethics and integrity.

ACC’s Prevention and Education director Karma Thinlay said that there is a lot to do to prevent corruption at the national level.

Given the complex phenomenon of corruption, he said that it can be prevented only through a collective effort and by strengthening integrity culture in the functions in organisations.

“In order to promote an individual behaviour that is consistent with the values and principles of the organisation, the organisation should ensure institutionalization of integrity measures in the form of organisational integrity plan (OIP),” the ACC official said.

OIP is an activity-based strategic plan to guide the leaders and organizations with time bound activities on ethics and integrity management.

The workshop was to ensure a common understanding and promote strong alliance among various organisations and stakeholders, leading to active coordination and cooperation in implementing NIACS in the current Plan.

The strategic objectives of NIACS were aligned to the 12th Plan result areas and performance indicators to reduce corruption.

Strengthening transparent, accountable and integrity culture, enhancing integrity consciousness and enhancing credibility and effectiveness of law enforcement and regulatory agencies were the three main strategic objectives of the NIACS.

To safeguard firms and individuals from engaging in fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour in public procurement, the participants were also sensitised on the Debarment Rules developed by the ACC.

“The rule which came into effect in July this year promotes government’s interest and the need to do business only with responsible entities or individuals,” another ACC official said.

“It also promotes integrity in the contractual works, primarily in construction and supply of goods and services for clean procurement.”

The ACC has sensitised to about 1,000 representatives from more than 140 agencies on the NIACS as of yesterday.

The next session will be held in Bumthang from today until November 13.

According to the ACC’s annual report last year, abuse of functions constituted 182 complaints, about 54.7 percent in the past years. While allegations on embezzlement was also substantial with 23 complaints, representing 6.9 percent followed by seven complaints pertaining to bribery.

Going by the Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2018, Bhutan had moved to the 25th place, a notch up from the 26th place in the previous year, indicating a triumph in fighting against corruption at the international level.

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