Favoritism and nepotism in recruitment processes, promotion and transfer of employees, and deliberate delay in making decisions with corrupt motives were found to be the most prevalent forms of corruption according to the Bhutan Corruption Barometer report for 2016.
The report also says that citizens having paid bribes to officials. One of the most alarming findings is that there is a high level of acceptance of corruption with the perception that corruption is a normal social phenomenon in almost every organization.
The report was done through The National Corruption Barometer Survey (NCBS) conducted by Bhutan Transparency Initiative (BTI) to assess understanding of corruption among the Bhutanese and establish a reference point for awareness, education, and advocacy to tackle the corruption. The report was based on the survey carried out among the people residing in urban (39%) and rural areas (61%).
The report also reveals the skepticism of the people in reporting corrupt practices due to the notion that no actions will be taken and that their reporting on the issues will not make any difference.
According to the report corruption was perceived to be highly concentrated at the top decision-making level with Ministry of Labour and Human Resource (MoLHR), Judiciary and private sector rated as the worst or least friendly entities in terms of providing better services.
Ministry of Education, followed by Ministry of Health and The armed forces were found to be some of the best institutions in delivering services.
The overall findings of the survey suggest that people think corruption has been gradually increasing since the introduction of democracy in 2008.
Bhutan Transparency Initiative (BTI) launched the Bhutan Corruption Barometer report for the year 2016 on Wednesday. The launch saw the attendance of the organization’s relevant stakeholders like Anti-corruption Commission (ACC), members from Civil Society Organizations (CSO), Youths, media, and professionals among many others.
It is the second time that BTI launched reports conducted on corruption through the surveys, which was first of its kind in Bhutan. Bhutan Transparency Initiative is a registered Civil Society Organization under the Civil Society Organization Authority. It was founded in April 2013 by a group of volunteers to bring corruption issues to the forefront through means of policy-oriented research, development of training tools and engagement in policy dialogues. BTI focuses on promoting transparency, integrity, and accountability to reduce corruption at national and local levels.
The report concluded that the concentration of corruption is in the top sectors comprising constitutional bodies, private sector, NGOs, local government, autonomous agencies, corporations and the government.
The report strongly calls for the concerned agencies like ACC and BTI to focus more on their anti-corruption activities and the government to address good governance issues much more seriously if Bhutan is to achieve its aspirations of a fair, equitable, harmonious and happy society.