Building awakened, accountable and responsible citizens to combat corruption

Towards fostering an environment where awakened citizens participateand contribute towards realizaton of ‘High Income and GNH Economy’ with enhanced integrity, accountability, transparency and responsibility, the ACC reached out to the general public at the Gewog levels through an advocacy and awareness program. Between 7 May and 30 May 2024, three Regional Offices in Bumthang, Phuentsholing and Trashigang simultaneously engaged with citizens of 34 Gewogs of Bumthang, Lhuntse, Mongar, Trongsa, and Samtse. This outreach covered a total of 4,500 participants. In general, the program received immense appreciation and positive feedback. Citizens who attended the sessions shared the program’s usefulness in informing them, and most importantly, helping them understand their responsibilities in promoting good governance and fighting corruption. They suggested such programs be conducted regularly, especially in the remote areas.

Such program at the grassroot level has become important as various national and international studies, including the ACC’s Annual Report 2022-2023, highlight growing concerns about the prevalence of corruption in the country. Specifically, the National Integrity Assessment 2022 and the National Corruption Barometer Survey (NCBS) 2023 by the Bhutan Transparency Initiative (BTI) indicate that respondents perceived an increasing trend of corruption in the country, infiltrating various aspects of the society. Such expereince as well as perceptions underscore the need to cultivate a stronger ethical culture with robust leadership, accountability, and responsibility of all the public and private individuals, at all levels, including the general public at the grassroot level.

This gewog-level advocacy and awareness program marks the third round of the ACC’s outreach to the grassroot level. The first round was completed in 2013, and the second in 2018.

Other Gewogs of remaining Dzongkhags will be covered in the next Financial Year by the respective Regional Offices.