The dec­la­ra­tion of con­flict of in­ter­est

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

The Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion has is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion on the 13th of this month stat­ing that all the civil ser­vants are re­quired to de­clare and avoid “Con­flict of In­ter­est” as man­dated un­der Chap­ter of the Civil Ser­vice Code of Con­duct and Ethics of the BCSR 2012. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion says that this mea­sure is to en­sure that all the of­fi­cials’ de­ci­sion and dis­charge of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are not com­pro­mised. The Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion came to this con­clu­sion af­ter a se­ries of cor­rup­tion cases are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion. As per the re­port of the Anti Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion the sys­tem of declar­ing the con­flict of in­ter­est was not prac­ticed.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­minds all the civil ser­vants to ob­serve the rule of con­flict of in­ter­est and fol­low the rule strictly. Not only that the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion also make ac­count­able the civil ser­vants in man­age­rial and su­per­vi­sory po­si­tions are also re­minded that they shall be li­able for such lapses even if they are not di­rectly in­volved.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion fur­ther says that a civil ser­vant shall de­clare the busi­ness / trade of his / her spouse / de­pen­dents to the Agency where the civil ser­vant is em­ployed. The Agency shall main­tain a list of spouses and de­pen­dents of the em­ploy­ees en­gaged in for­mal and non – for­mal busi­ness. It may be a daunt­ing task for the agen­cies but once it is put in place the sys­tem will take care of things.

The Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion has re­minded all the Heads of the Agen­cies and Su­per­vi­sors that in or­der to en­force the above rule and en­sure strict com­pli­ance by all the civil ser­vants. If such mea­sures are put in place and strictly fol­lowed many of the civil ser­vants will not get into un­nec­es­sary trou­bles. On the other hand in or­der to ef­fec­tively com­ply with the sys­tem the Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion will carry out pe­ri­odic Hu­man Re­sources Au­dit to check on com­pli­ance and en­force ac­count­abil­ity in line with the BSCR 2012 rules.

As per the Royal Au­dit Re­port 2014, the main causes for ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties are due to poor en­force­ment of rules and reg­u­la­tions .The lapses and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties oc­cur mostly in the ar­eas of con­struc­tion and pro­cure­ment. As per the au­dit re­port these ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties arise due to weak en­force­ment of rel­e­vant rules such as pro­cure­ment rules in the man­age­ment of work con­tracts and pro­cure­ment of goods.

So now it be­comes a para­mount task for the civil ser­vants to de­clare the con­flict of in­ter­est with the Agency and en­sure that our sys­tem is cor­rup­tion free. With more that 4% of the over­all ex­pen­di­ture of the gov­ern­ment is be­ing fi­nanced by loan it will have a se­ri­ous reper­cus­sion on the op­ti­mal use of bor­rowed fund and debt ser­vice bur­den on the gov­ern­ment if these funds are di­verted for un­law­ful use through cor­rup­tion.

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