ACC lacks trans­parency in the se­lec­tion of chair­per­son and com­mis­sion­ers

Bhutan Times - - Home - Deki Lhadon

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.

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