Transparent and accountable?

The cabinet’s website is actually quite good. It is clean, simple, quick and easy to navigate.

And it provides useful information. That is, until they stopped posting the government’s executive orders, cabinet decisions and press releases.

So in my previous post, I didn’t mean to complain that the cabinet’s website was bad in any way. What I did mean, however, was to point out that the cabinet had stopped sharing important information on their website.

Unless they compromise national security, executive orders and cabinet decisions must be made public. Otherwise how should we know what our government is doing?

As Pema Tenzin, one commentator, put it: “The issue here is wanting to be transparent and accountable.”


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  1. Lampenda Chuup says

    Somehow we still have a long way to go in Bhutan. While we talk about the Freedom to Information Act we don’t really have it. So, whether we like it nor, we are a censored society in that way. The government and the powers that be only share what they want to share. AND there are no platforms to legally challenge many stupid decisions the government makes, often wasting enormous resources. Our fourth estate needs to mature, and mature fast to become that much needed platform.

  2. OL, we know you got a point but you should realize this: when they can blatantly and openly defy and breach the highest law in the country and, when our people are deliberately denied their rights to watch their own Parliamentary proceedings which needs to be “CONDUCTED IN PUBLIC” as required by section 14 of Article 10 of our Constitution, what can we do about a website? NOTHING.
    The only option that is left if this government continues to be so defiant of our Constitution is the two of you, honorable OL and honorable Damcho, the opposition in our Parliament, resign. A democratic Parliament can not stand without an opposition party and so the parliament must be dissolved. New elections will be held and a new government who will respect our Constitution more than the present government will be formed. At least, I am sure we will have more oppostion in the parliament than what we have now. Our people made a mistake. I gaurantee our people are not so stupid to make a mistake twice.

  3. Any Similarities?

    and this one OL’s blog

    not wanting to be mean here but i am speaking for those talented people out there who dedicate their life into designing nice looking websites.all they ask in return is a few dollars which any person earning basic salary can afford.
    I wrote about this months ago in OL’s blog but it wasn’t published for the reason which seemed obvious to me. is very unethical for someone to claim the work done by these talented people as theirs. sadly there are 10’s of so-called “web designers” in Bhutan who use rapidshare and torrent and other Warez sites to download these works of other and they claim it’s their work.if you dont believe me you can do a small test and it is easy.Do a “view source code” in the browser and the check for “templates/” foe Joomla! and “themes/” for WordPress ..the name next to these links are the name of the Themes ..then copy that and do a Google search..and u will see tons of websites matching that one.
    i know Bhutanese web designers do not buy these things.
    so please show some respect and buy the website themes if you really is cheap

  4. Pema Tenzin says

    Tongba, you are wrong. Id two Opposition MPs resign, there will be by-elections in those two constituencies and the best opposition can do is win two MPs in place of the two current ones. I hope it is as you suggest but it is not.

  5. Mr.Pema Tenzin, I thought that is inherently understood but looks like for some people I should be more explicit. Okay. What will happen if there is no representation of PDP in those two constituencies? And, what will happen if there is representation but they lose the votes, intentionally or not intentionally? Then we will have 100% seats in the Parliament occupied by one political party which is against democratic principles. The Parliament can not prevail. The consequences:
    1. Dissolution of the government.
    2. Dissolution of some old parties, may be and, formation of new political parties.
    3. New elections.
    4. A more balanced representation in Parliament.
    5. A new government who will respect the Constitution and listen to people more.

    You see, it is incredibly astonishing to see that people are fighting and dying for democracy all over the world but it is immaturely imposed upon our people in our country. I am still wondering why the rush. Not only thousands of unprepared civil servants and ordinary people were mobilized for the establishment of democracy in our country, but ninety million ngultrums was spent on the mock election and another eighty million in the real elections alone. Was it worth it? I don’t know. The only thing I know is that we Bhutanese people are so very fortunate.

    Nevertheless, there is a danger if we are not careful about it. They say, “do it well or don’t do it at all”. If we can’t have a well balanced vibrant democracy, we need not have any democracy at all. Ill balanced democracy only gives birth to tyrants of democracy like Chavez of Venezuela, Hunsen of Cambodia, Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Sukarno of Indonesia, Thaksin of Thailand, just to name a few. All these leaders, under the guise of democracy, consolidated all the powers into their hands. They speak what they want to speak and listen only to things they want to speak. Rest is just for the show. There is hardly any true room for open exchange of dissimilar ideas and discussion of diverse opinions. Most of the meetings and seminars are skillfully enacted appearances of democracy.Backstage, they think on their own, make their own decisions and implement it no matter what other people think. I think this is what is happening in our country now. And I am worried.

    The CDG is unconstitutional but they passed the bill anyway. The interpretation of the Constitution must be done only by our Supreme Court but they invited some Indian constitutional expert to interpret it, formally or informally. The Constitution is the supreme law in the country and it MUST be interpreted as it is meant to be but our PM says we should interpret it flexibly to suit the given situation, condition and time. This flexible interpretation of laws and rules in our country is the root cause of all the double standards and injustices in our society. It is unbelievable that our very own PM is promoting it. The MPs can increase their entitlements and allowances only on the recommendations of the Pay Commission but they couldn’t wait. Five years is a very short time.

    The country is struck by so many natural disasters and affected by the global economic crisis in the past year. So many development plans of our previous five-year-plan are halted and remain unaccomplished due to monetary constraints but now they are planning to build underground road tunnels and airports. They have borrowed foreign brains to tell us what is good for us. The SAARC Summit, I think, also comes at a time when we are not ready for it yet and so you see so many hush, hush garbage cleaning and white washing.

    And, now what? The political parties will be funded by State!! If I knew this, I should also have formed a political party and tried my luck in the last elections.

    What sayst thou, Pema?

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