The concerns need to be addressed
The national council while deliberating on the annual report of the Anti Corruption Commission last Tuesday recognized the role of ACC as pivotal in eliminating corruption in the country. The members strongly supported the need for adequate funding and human resources and commended the role played by the commission in its policy to focus on prevention, education and investigation of corruption in the country.
The house approved the recommendations submitted by the good governance committee.
The first recommendations of the committee were the finical security of the Anti Corruption Commission. It is reported that 58% of the ACC budget has been meet through the support from Swiss Development Cooperation and other development partners without which the commission would have been hard pressed to reach so far.
With the departure of SDC from Bhutan imminent, the resource gap will also have to be met from public resources which will entail a substantial increase from the government exchequer.
At this critical juncture, ACC cannot afford to let up on the anti-corruption momentum so far and hence, the imperative need for sufficient funds to be allocated to ACC to sustain and mainstream its anti-corruption programs. Alternative financing methods such as anchoring its budget to a proportion of the national budget, charging of expenditure directly to the consolidate fund need to be explored.
The second challenge faced by ACC is with regard to the human resources development and its perennial human resources constraints The commission has already been working closely with RCSC to address this issue. Besides the further study programs there are requirement for excountry mandatory basis courses for the commission officials in the diverse field of anti corruption as well as specialized trainings in investigation and associated fields.
The resource gap will have to meet from the public resources. Further the current policy of the government on the HRD policy does not normally allow courses and trainings outside the country through the government funding. Therefore, there are two interconnected elements that need to be addressed of which the policy on HRD needs to be looked into to enable ACC to continue to train its staff. The second would be that ACC should be provided with adequate budgetary provisions needed to be made for the human resources.
The importance of such courses and trainings needs to be underscored. The rapid advancements in technology coupled with the ingenuity of the corrupt demands enforcement agencies such as ACC to keep commensurate space by constantly upgrading the knowledge and skills so as to maintain relevancy and effectiveness in preventing and corruption.
The other recommendations were the strengthening of corruption – related justice system, management of seized goods and properties and the fronting menace.
As the central corruption control agency and an institution to uphold the constitutional mandate, the concerns need to be addressed for a corruption free society.