LG holds the top list in complaints: ACC
One of the key priorities of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is to reduce the backlog to at least 40 percent by July 2020. This was one of the key priorities set by the Commission as per the annual report 2015 submitted to the Parliament.
ACC has the highest backlog with 109 cases in 2011 wherein the lowest was in 2008 with 15 cases. The 2015 annual report shows that 31 backlog cases were received, which stands the second lowest backlog compare to 34 backlog in 2014 over the last ten years.
ACC is an Institution and its efforts in building and reinforcing itself as a trustworthy institution.
However, ACC received 283 complaints where 42 complaints qualified for investigation, 11 complaints were assigned for investigation, indicating a backlog of 31 complaints in the year 2015.
The report also shows that from the total of 283 complaints received during the period of report, 51.2 percent were from known sources and 48.8 percent were from unknown sources. However, the percentage of complaints from known sources has dropped by almost 17 percent as compared to 68 percent in 2014.
According to the annual report, Thimphu accounts for the highest number of complaints with 72 complaints (25.4 percent) and Gasa have the lowest with one complaint (0.4 percent).
However, the report also mentioned that the complaints may be attributed to the density of population, number of public agencies, economic activities, proximity to ACC, and the level of public awareness on corruption as well as on where and how to report correct practices.
The local governments (LG) agencies continue to be the highest comprising 27.9 percent of the total 283 complaints.
Alleged corrupt practices in LG includes embezzlement, misuse of public funds, abuse of functions for land transactions, encroachment into government land, contract awards and extraction of natural resources.
The report have shown most of the complaints related to LG are administration grievances, indicating the need for ACC and Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs (MoHCA) to focus on public education and institute grievance redress mechanisms.
The maximum number of complaints was received on resources (Fund and Properties) with a total of 100 complaints of the total 283 complaints received in the year 2015 whereas, the minimum complaint was on Natural Resources with a two complaints.
The commonly alleged corruption in resources includes misuse of project funds and government properties like vehicles, office equipment and machineries. Land and construction continue to be major area of complaints with 32 complaints (11 percent) each.
However, the reports states that the complaints in the resources area have increased by 11 percent in 2015.
The report also mentioned that the International standing presents, Bhutan is standing in the international and regional arena through the Transparency Corruption Perception International Corruption Perception Index (TI-CPI) ranking which is one of the key performance indicators of the 11th FYP under its National Key Result Area (NKRA) of “Corruption Reduced”.
The report also stated that allegations that are not likely to accrue any benefits to the state at this juncture due to huge cost implication and those not relevant to the present context will be closed.
Prevention program includes research and systematic studies, implementation of anticorruption measures such as judicial scan, social accountability, Corruption Risk Management (CRM) and Asset Declaration Investigation function takes of all complaints and referral received and cases investigated during the reporting period.
According to the annual report 2015, ACC received the total of 4,333 complaints over the last ten years where 283 complaints were qualified for investigation, 148 complaints were assigned for investigation, indicating a backlog of 529 complaints (78.1 percent of total cases that qualified for investigation) as of December 2015.
“Bulk of the complaints (31.8 percent) being dropped or requiring additional information through discreet inquiry indicates that ACC needs to further enhance its public education programs on corruption and its offences in general,” report stated.