LG holds the top list in com­plaints: ACC

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

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.

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