Anti–Corruption Commission (ACC) has always made an effort to reach out to general populace to sensitize on the importance of inner values and character to curb corruption. In that light, a group of ACC Official led by Honorable Chairperson, Dasho Neten Zangmo met with the 14th batch of Desuups at Military Training Centre, Tencholing, Wangdue Phodrang on Friday, January 23, 2015.
Addressing the 116 Desuups – ‘the Guardian of Peace’ constituting of Kidu Officers and Scout Masters, Chairperson reminded Desuups of their Code of Honour and Core Values. Compatibilities of the code of conduct of a Desuung and that of the Scout and Kidu Officers such as volunteerism, sense of nationalism, character building, guidance and helping the community were highlighted. The only difference being the orange uniform. The need for committing oneself to the service of the Tsa- Wa-Sum infused with the values of integrity, respect and service was emphasized to which Desuups unanimously responded with loud ‘Yes La’.
Transiting to the issues confronting the Nation today, Dasho reiterated His Majesty’s 107th National Day’s Address wherein negative effects of corruption were singly spelled out. From procurement and business licenses to favoritism in recruitment and embezzlement of public fund, corruption has become pervasive. Sharing anecdotes from both within and outside Bhutan, Dasho asserted that having policies in place in itself is not enough, enforcement is equally important if not more. Hence, leadership at all levels is a necessity.
In her closing remarks, Dasho stated that Teachers as the custodian of values in schools and Kidu Officers as the Representative of His Majesty the King at grassroots, should not fail to the King, Country and the People and commented, “Your character should be as loud as your voice.”
Questions and Answers Sessions
Q. In 2013, as compared to 2012, has corruption reduced in our country and performance of ACC? Of the three main branches of the government, which one has more corruption happening in it?
A. People have become smart; they have come up with different WAYS OF MAKING EASY MONEY. Therefore, reducing corruption might be difficult. Corruption is more prominent at the executives’ level as they handle huge government budget.
Q. What is an average number of cases ACC faces within a year?
A. On an average, we receive 400 complaints a year.
Q. A civil servant is engaged in doing business to feed his large family is reprimanded, while on the other hand there isn’t much say about a civil servant getting promotion through loop holes or corruptions. What is your judgment?
A. Code of conduct does not say that you are not allowed to do business, but only the private business which have conflict with your work.
And regarding getting promotion through corruption, which is not at all allowed. Both receiver and giver will be punishable by law.
Q. Regarding an interview and an award, I went to ask for justification as per why wasn’t I selected. I went with all my document and files, but they had no justification for me. System is such that we tolerate everything and slowly, we give up. And people develop the notion that by corruption, we can do everything.
A. Regarding award, I feel that the principal process of nomination is wrong. Then in a large system, they ask what the best system is. Which I do not know.
Giving up is not the solution. Speak out. It is tough but we must find ways to make change happen.
Q. I have three clarification to make:
i) Cases take time to be solved but meanwhile, the accused is enjoying the perks of his position, be it in civil service or private sector. And by the time the case is solved, he/she have already resigned. That way I feel that it is unjust, since a corrupt person was enjoying resources while the case was being solved.
ii) Literate people know. While in some cases some literate people are victimized. Does ACC have any policy to help those people?
iii) Political parties have huge authority. Can a convicted candidate participate in election after two years? Does ACC have any power to stop the party from changing the clause to their benefit?
A. Even if cases take two years, after that if the person is found guilty and punished, then justice is done.
Don’t be emotional. Always listen to both side of the story. Don’t be carried away by the appearance.
ACC cannot say “this cannot be passed/done” when political party make a decision. But nowadays the decisions are all aired, and being a democratic country, we the people have say in it.
Q. There are people who try to wrongly claim their TA/DA especially with departure time and arrival time, so is it okay?
A. It is not okay! If it is okay, then people needs to be fixed. Claiming for “what is not” is unethical.
Q. Person A goes to the gup’s office for some paper work but then he/she is sent back without any service being rendered. ( procrastinating things that could have been solved)
A: We all need to treat people the way we want ourselves to be treated. As kidu officers or as scout masters, or it could be anyone, we must always be sincere in delivering service to the people and to the nation as a whole.