Aimed towards creating an awakened and informed citizenry, the Anti -Corruption Commission (ACC) will conduct Gewog Awareness and Advocacy program to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) on December 9, and the following week, December 10-16 as the National Anti-Corruption Week (NACW) in Bhutan.
According to ACC, corruption in rural areas is a reality. With democracy and decentralization, the challenge is only expected to increase. Effects of corruption in rural areas are disproportionately more. Therefore, the commission urges that it is imperative for everyone in the village to be aware of his or her rights and duties to demand for greater transparency and accountability, and to play active roles in the fight against corruption.
The advocacy program, conducted with support from the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) and the UNDP, is in continuation to ACC’s endeavor to reach all 205 gewogs towards building an informed and awakened citizenry.
Till September 2013, a total of 154 gewogs have been covered, reaching out to about 19,203 participants.
The IACD and NACW serves as a global call for action against corruption, and it is an occasion to raise people’s awareness on corruption issues and promote anti-corruption programs.
Targeting the community leaders and the general public, the gewog advocacy program will create awareness on the corruption scenario in the country, anti-corruption strategies, complaint management system, investigation process, and will also share a few case studies from ACC’s investigation that are relevant to the local community.
To mark the occasion this year, five teams of ACC officials are currently travelling to 8 dzongkhags and will cover 42 gewogs.
The awareness and advocacy program includes various topics like bribery, embezzlement, abuse of privileged information, abuse of functions, and false claims, among others.
The commission shall also educate people on the political, economic, social and environmental impact of corruption.
With advocacy programs for the last 42 gewogs underway, the commission will have covered all 205 gewogs by December 9, coinciding with the IACD.
Within April 2011-March 2012, the commission received 458 complaints which dropped to 449 within the same time period the following year.
The maximum complaints received were from the capital with 121 complaints, followed by Chukha with 39 complaints and Paro with 34 complaints.
Trashiyangtse and Gasa registered the least complaints with seven and nine respectively.