ACC’s sensitization on revised Gift Rules and Asset Declaration

The Anti-Corruption Commission conducted five-day sensitization programme for government and private sector agencies to streamline the process of integrating National Integrity and Anti-Corruption Strategy (NIACS), one of the integrity promotion tools.

The sensitization workshop was aimed at developing plans and programs where ACC shared their revised NIACS to the agencies and solicited feedback.

After the agency learned that the existing strategy required ownership, supervision and strong communication for better implementation of the indicators included in the strategy, it led ACC to review the existing strategy at individual, systemic, and organizational level.

The commission has therefore been conducting consultative meetings with various agencies to review the NIACS 2014-2018 to develop or revise the existing NIACS and a strong Monitoring and Evaluation system.

During one such programme held for the CSOs and the media personnel on Thurday, the agency presented that CSOs and media have been identified as a  key collaborator in preventing corruption and as an agent to help in establishing clear relevance and link with the 12th FYP in building strong systems of integrity.

During the workshop the participants were enlightened on the procedures of the revised Asset Declaration Rules, one of the public accountabilty tools, to ensure transparency and accountability in managing public resources by the public servants.

A necessary revision in the AD rules 2017 states that a covered person who is on leave without pay for one year or more is not required to file any declaration for that period but assets, income and liabilities of such period should be filed on the subsequent year of declaration after the employee’s assumption of the office.

The Annual Declaration period will be marked from 1st February to 31stst March, and 1st May to 31st May will be for the Late Declarant where penalties will be levied accordingly and if people fail to declare even by 1st June, they will be categorized as non-declarant and penalties will be imposed according to the AD rules 2017.

ACC also presented on the ethics and integrity management and the new Gift Rules 2017 and also briefed the management of Conflict of Interest declaration.

The Gift Administration Committee (GAC) in an agency will comprise of minimum three members along with the Gift Disclosure Administrator (GDA), who will meet to review and take decisions on gifts pertaining to head of the agency, review the administration of gifts for the Financial Year (FY) and report to head of the agency, prepare report for auditing purpose and they can also ask any public servant to declare his or her gift.

The Gift Disclosure Administrator has to receive duly filled Gift Disclosure Form, enter particulars of the disclosure in the Gift Register, report to the head of the agency, dispose the deposited gift, collect the fines, maintain gift records, convene committee meeting and serve as the member Secretary. The head of the agency cannot be the member of the Gift Administration Committee.

To facilitate the process of integrating NIACS in the development plans and programs, the agency invited relevant officials from Thromde, Ministries, Autonomous Agencies, Judiciary, Constitutional Offices, Armed Forces, Corporations, Financial Institutions, Civil Society Organizations and personnel from the media fraternity to share and at the same time educate on the newly revised NIACS with its main focus in the 12th FYP to reduce corruption.

The Royal Audit Authority report, 2016, states that Nu. 9.408 million was lost due to corrupt practices in the country.

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