Upon invitation from the Principal of Rinchen Higher Secondary School, the ACC Chairperson interacted with 630 students and 42 staff on 14 September, 2016. The session was part of their regular guest lecture program held every Wednesday which is aimed towards providing a platform for collective learning.
Themed ‘Youth as an agent of change’, the Chairperson emphasized on the role of youths and schools in building an ethical and incorruptible society. She highlighted that, today’s youth as potential leaders of tomorrow, they must be actively engaged in bringing about cultural change in attitudes and behaviors towards corruption.
During the session, the Chairperson spoke about the three pronged strategy – Investigation, Prevention and Education adopted by the Commission to prevent and combat corruption in the country. She also talked on integrity. She quoted the definition of Integrity by C.S. Lewis – ‘Integrity is doing right things even when no one is watching‘. It was further explained by narrating a simple example. ‘If you know that each student is supposed to get an apple from the basket kept in open space and when your teachers are busy, if you are given an option to take an apple from the basket how many apples would you take?’ She said that corruption is about values and behavior that manifest the character of a person and a society.
The Chairperson concluded the session with His Majesty’s quote ‘What we need is not a Leader to lead the Masses – we need Leadership of the Self.‘ And she urged everyone to take collective responsibility to fight corruption and to refrain, resist and report corruption at all times. The Chairperson was accompanied by an official from Public Education Division.
Following questions were raised by the participants
Q. How does ACC deal with anonymous complaints?
A. Firstly, we discourage public to lodge anonymous complaints as it is difficult for us to get further details if needed from the complainant. We, at the ACC, protect the identity of the complainants and are not disclosed to anyone. We have a standard complaint management procedures for all complaints received irrespective of whether known and anonymous. Outcome of the complaints – that is whether to investigate, drop or share for administrative matters with agencies concerned depends on the quality of complaints which most often lack in anonymous complaints.
Q. One of the causes of corruption can be attributed to poor moral values (intangible aspects of empathy and complacency nature), so, what is being done to change the behaviors of people?
A. Behavioral change programs forms one of core functions of ACC. ACC initiated, among others, e-learning on ethics & integrity for civil servants, Judiciary Integrity Scan with Courts, and Private Sector Integrity Program. ACC also holds interactive sessions (like today) on promoting ethics and integrity.
RCSC has also come up with many reforms in the civil service to address such issues. It will take some time to see changes taking place in the system.