ACC lacks transparency in the selection of chairperson and commissioners
A nti-Corruption Agency Strengthening Initiative Assessment of ACC 2015, launched in Capital on 10th December and report says that Anti-Corruption Commission lacks of transparency in nominating chairperson and commissioners.
The report stated the appointment of the recent chairperson is an evidence of this shortage.
“The deliberation of the selection committee and the criteria for their selection were not disclosed,” stated by ACC. And also added, the report published based on a complete judgment of the ability and performance of the ACC.
The Transparency International recommended the committee to draft criteria, rules and regulation of the procedure in written form and publish in public, for the improvement of the transparency in the selection method.
After the committee selected names for the nomination, the nominated names should come out to public declaration of justification for a better understanding of the reason behind their resolution, the report stated.
The appointment of chairperson and commissioners are recommended by the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Speaker, the Chairperson of National Council and the opposition leader to the Druk Gyalpo. For the nomination, Transparency International also called the parliament to develop specific criteria.
Pema Lhamo, Executive Director of Bhutan Transparency Initiative said the report is “frank assessment” of how ACC undertake corruption and how existing law and policies work in practical.
“We will develop an action plan on the way forward in consultation with relevant institutions,” the executive director said. In strengthening the ACC the assessment results, would be helpful for engagement.
With the financial support from Swiss Development Cooperation the assessment was carried out between June and August this year.
Based on different indicator the commission was assessed, which were given “high, low and scoring not possible” grades depending on how the ACC charged on each indicator. The indicator includes the commission’s legal power, operational autonomy, budget sufficiency and staff abrasion.
It scored “high” in 70% of the total indicator including legal powers and operational autonomy. However ACC scored “low” in two indicators; responsiveness to corruption complains and staff attrition. Last year the attrition rate was 16%.
The ACC has been able to investigate only one-fifth of the cases which are qualifying for investigation, the report revealed. Mean time it has affected “responsiveness to corruption complaints.”
Report also reveals “We found a low level of confidence in the powers needed to effectively investigate all cases of corruption.”
The reports also mentioned that the difficulties faced by the ACC during recruitment of senior managers and investigating large cases are the facts that society is not adequately aware off. Concerning of continuous staff shortage and backlog of investigations the TI said, “This might threaten the reputation and role of the ACC.”
“So far, the ACC has executed its duty without failure,” said Tshering Wangchuk , Chief Justice of Supreme Court. He added till now the ACC has successfully prosecuted a number of cases which he mentioned that was an achievement for the commission. But have to focus more than before to control the corruption.