Observing anticorruption day

Here’s how I observed International Anticorruption Day yesterday:

One, I went through Transparency International’s Corruption Perception index report for 2011. Bhutan is rated 5.7 (10 means perceived to be very clean; 0 means very corrupt) and is ranked a decent 38 out of the 182 countries and territories that were studied. Bhutan’s rating of 5.7 remains unchanged from the 2010 corruption perception levels. Not bad, but we can, and must, do better.

Two, I tuned in to see BBS’s live debate on the topic “Is Bhutan doing enough in fighting corruption?” The debate, which was organised jointly with IMS, had six panelists, all honourable members of the Parliament. The debate would have been a lot more meaningful if the panelists were chosen to defend two different sides of the motion – one team contending that Bhutan is doing enough to fight corruption; the other arguing that Bhutan is not doing enough.

Three, I closed my poll that asked “Is ACC taking too long to start investigating the Gyelpozhing land case?” The big majority – 300 of the 352 who took the poll – answered “yes” the ACC is taking too long.

Four, I drafted a letter to the ACC encouraging them to investigate and resolve the Gyelpozhing land case as soon as possible. The case is significant as it raises serious questions on the conduct of our senior-most public officials, many of whom hold powerful offices. Did they, for example, violate laws in the way that land was acquired and distributed? And was conflict of interest standards compromised by senior officials who applied for and received land?

Five, I drafted a letter to the Royal Audit Authority requesting them for a copy of their report on the special investigations that they carried out on the lottery operations. I had asked for the report in June this year, but was denied it. I’m hopeful that, for the sake of transparency and accountability, the RAA is now prepared to make the report public.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Chozang Tangbi says

    one way or the other, every officials in Bhutan is corrupt. Officials are only expert in giving flowery speech about GNH, Shingrila, pristine nature, etc.But majority live in hell.

  2. Chencho Namgay says

    what and who are rated for the country to avail this percieved index of the Transparency International…
    In the debate, who were the people responsible for choosing the panelists’ stand…
    What could be the probable explaination of the RAA’s denial to your requests…

    Kudos to your GNH efforts la
    GNH aspirant

  3. I agree with with earlier comments. Bhutan’s GNH is actually gross national hypocrisy.

  4. pem tshering says

    Instead of observing such a day in a period of one year, I guess it is better for us to observe ourselves everyday and moment and see if we are doing enough to curb corruption in our society. At the moment, there seem to be some kind of an organized corruption in Bhutan starting from the top to the bottom level of the society including, sadly, the PM hismelf. Wonder where Bhutan is heading to and reach in a couple of years from now! How did all the senior bureacrats acquire all their properties? Name the top five richest men in Bhutan, and find our how they all reached the list? All of them became rich through corruption only.

  5. Very rarely can a man become millionaire through an honest act. 🙁

  6. Pelden Drukpa says

    Dear OL?
    Whether you like it or not, accept or not, PDP was hugely corrupted party in the 2008 campaigns and familiarization processes. The party mobilised huge funds lavishly for all illegal purposes ranging from bribery to feasting for the people. So, don’t throw stones at other when you are living in a glass house.

  7. Just a thought, la.

    Just a thought, la.
    You write in your capacity as the Opposition Leader to the Election Commission, ACC, and RAA but you don’t seem to be getting any response from them. You wait and write again. Is that all? Are there no other legitimate means of making them respond? To whom these so-called Autonomous Organizations are accountable to? To the Government of the day?

    Isn’t it time to table and enact the Right to Information Act (RTI)? Any update on it, la?

  8. Pelden Drukpa says

    Dear OL? Why was your PDP so much corrupted in 2008 if you really are against corruption? Why did the party carried out a lot of unconstitutional activities then, if you are really a master of constitution? You have the eyes to see others, but also have a mirror to see yourself.

  9. Two wrongs don’t make a right. If the PDP had done something unconstitutional or if it were corrupt, you should have opposed and exposed it. What were you doing then?

    I don’t think you can justify DPT’s corruptions by making allegations of corruption against the PDP.

  10. Lets talk the reallty show and do not fanthom it. do not pinpoint DPT or PDP but see the level of corruption fueled by the govt.

  11. Lottery scandal – finance minister seems involved, and so the government or most of the senior ministers

    Gyelpozhing land scam – PM involved, ACC is not doing much and many influential who-is-who of Bhutan involved.

    Dig why PM is building GNH centre in Bumthang where his family owns 33 acres of land and how he acquired that land paying Nu. 300 per decimail from some inocent villagers.

    Dig why PM has been giving Beninger a lot of work without following procurement norms?

    Dig why PM gave multi-million $ chiphen rigpel project to NIIT and see if this Nu. 2,052 millions (2,052,000,000) project is seeing visible impact?

    Dig why McKinsey got US$10 million (plus transport, air tickets, out-of-pocket expenses)consultancy work without any procurement norms and did this consultancy help Bhutan?

    Many questions on the credibility of our leaders and if you, OL, can solve this mystery, Bhutan will see a better day

  12. sonam Penjor says

    Wow. Jurma Lodey, Wonderfully shared and i started thinking. Why, Why., and Why? The answer finally dervied: PM did all that, all for him and his generations.

    Pelden Drukpa,do you know how corrupt you are. For the sake of good, talk sense man, this is a shared forum. I know not what PDP did but all i know is DPT used civil servants like us during previous election.

  13. Corruption and prostitution were born on the same day. Their operations are identical, well almost, and every country on the planet tried every innovative trick to curb them but we all know that they are still around. They will be around as long as the societal attitude remain same. That being the fact, the ACC is ill equipped to deal effectively to curb corruption, forget getting rid of it altogether! Revamp the ACC office/org. Use local expertise and not some imported experts who’ll have to be educated first in the ways of the Bhutanese. Involve members of the public for interactive sessions, learn to find ways to combat corruption, not just harping that it’s every citizen’s duty!

  14. To wipe out the corruption from our country is lip service. There is no check and balance in every organisation. The CEO of every organisation function on dictatorial way.The CEOs can make or unmake the organisation they head. The lower rung employees are puppets in the hands of the CEOs and on extremity the CEO can terminate the employee who does not go with the CEOs dictation.

    The Labour & Employment Act has been passed by the Parliament which gives the workers to form Association but the Labour Ministry is so scared to implement the rules and Regulation and employees had to bear the burnt of the employers. Unless, we implement the Labour association Rules and Regulation, the corruption won’t go from the Land of GNH.

  15. Under the present circumstances, corruption is here to stay for much longer than what ACC thinks. ACC is and should remain as a regulatory and policy making think tank and not act as they do now. People in the commission are randomly picked and made to function as professionals! A professionally qualified team of investigators is the need of the day and they don’t seem to be making any effort to get this team organized! So what can we expect from them in terms of quality work? Elsewhere in the world, a unit like ACC is a covert information networking, (read intelligence)operation with investigation techniques. So the govt. must rethink/reorganize and start with professionals and not with lay persons randomly picked up!

  16. Who appoints the Chairperson of ACC and Auditor General. I thingk they are appointed by the govt. Who are corrupt people they the govt servent. At what level. At the higher level.

    So my point here is Do you think that father will kill his children. definetely no.Howecver try to scold and bring back to the path.

    There is conflict of interest in investigating the cases. ACC have teeth but they cannot bite the iron.

    In order to set the rules why not the AG and ACC chairperson are appointed on the recommendation of the Opposion Party not by the PM. is it possible to sset the rules. Please throuw some lights setting this precedences. Then definitely we will have counter check and ballance and can cur corruption or else we will be in the same track.

  17. Sempa, please refer Constitution of Bhutan. The chairperson’s of Constitutional bodies are appointed by his Majesty the King and not by PM.

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