ACC back on the investigation beat after pandemic challenge

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) faced challenges in closing cases due to the pandemic in the country. They couldn’t call people for interrogation nor could they go to people for an interview since March 2020.

Now that health protocols are in place, they will resume their investigation. ACC where also not able to make certain decision of the complaints they have received in the past few months due of lack of some critical information.

They have received as many as 30 to 40 complaints which they were not able to take a decision on as they were not able to gather all the required information.

It also had to put at halt all the prevention and awareness programs they have planned for.

ACC Commissioner Jamtsho said gathering information has become challenging for them during such times as it is difficult to go and gather information from relevant agencies like RMA, banks and land commission due to various protocols, he said.

“Moreover, our people were engaged in doing something else during the pandemic and therefore, we failed to achieve what we have actually targeted for, however, we can always adjust,” he added.

He said that they already have cases from as far as 2006 ad 2007 which they have been doing. During the COVID-19 situation they did not receive complaints that actually qualifies for investigation.

He said cases which need investigation are very few, adding that this gives them the room to think weather if it is because there is no corruption at all or if people were not forth coming because of the COVID-19 situation. He said ACC is figuring out these issues.

He said, “We may not be able to do interrogation here in Thimphu where there is involvement of many people as we do not have the facility. Therefore, to continue with our investigation and to make our services available, we have decided to send our people in the field, be it in the south but following health protocols strictly.”

However, the duration of case investigation depends upon case severity and it becomes difficult for ACC to investigate if the perpetrator is outside Bhutan, he added.  

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