It is quite interesting to know how the accused employee of RICB absconded. When the public heard of such an incident they thought the thief should be punished. But when the details emerged of how the thief fooled the whole system to siphon off huge amount of money, the public became skeptical of the management. So accusation made a sharp turn towards the failure of top management to check the embezzlement.
Now the fugitive is on the run. The police has offered a hefty reward for information leading to his whereabouts. Public are excited to dig into this problem and get more information. We learned that there are already collective efforts being undertaken by some groups of the public to network and share information of the fugitive’s whereabouts for possible share of the reward.
RICB said that internal fraud resulted in mismanagement.
But again looking at the way its employee siphoned the money at sustained period of time (3 years or so) weakens its own alibi. Its system of check and balance is very much questionable.
We know that RICB is a financial giant given its worth. It provides one of the dominant financial services in the country including commercial lending apart from insurance. And to operate such a complex financial system, there really needs to be a credible mechanism for checks and balances.
The fraud has already cost the company. Yet a hefty reward of 1 million to catch the thief dents the corporation’s coffer.
So now the question who do we blame? The thief, the system or the CEO?
Going by the management principle, CEO should be accountable to any mishap in the organization. If CEO passes the blame to his/her subordinates for the failure then certainly the organization is in the grips of authoritarian control. Such a case gives adequate reasons for any CEO of any corporation or organization to remain stiff against the wishes of the public to resign over mismanagement.
Perhaps this kind of bureaucratic system exposes the top-down rule in our public enterprises management where bosses are safe despite failure of management. There is no way employees can reason against their bosses in such situations. It breeds sycophancy and undermines the true employee performance. And we know that this is rampant in Bhutanese organizations.
RICB’s case is becoming a good case study for management scholars. It defies the conventional management principles by endorsing its own ideals. If its Board too shuns away from the wishes of the public, then we can safely claim that ‘nothing can be done against the bosses’ of corporations in Bhutan even if they are responsible for failure.