Unnecessary interventions will make us weaker and less effective: ACC

According to ACC officials, interventions by the Office of the Attorney General, the unfavorable High Court verdict and political opposition in the Gyelpozhing case has put tremendous stress on the Anti Corruption Commission which will weaken it in the near future and hamper its effectiveness.

“We can say that this sort of unnecessary interventions drains the organizations focus and resource and impacts on its efficiency,” said a senior ACC official on the condition of anonymity.

The unnecessary intervention being referred to is two cases against the ACC by the OAG one of which OAG won on undoing the suspension of the Home Minister and the Speaker and other which it lost on ACC’s eligibility to prosecute the Gyelpozhing case.

OAG had earlier also made an ACC investigation report public and declared that there was no case in Gyelpozhing. It was widely felt that the OAG had dismissed the Gyelpozhing report since its bosses in the cabinet were named and involved.

There have also been frequent public proclamations of their innocence by the involved ministers. The cabinet through a letter had directed the OAG to look into the legality of the suspension of the Speaker and the Home Minister.

“This (intervention) also highlights the serious risks of politicization of institutions in the future which plagues many countries.  The overwhelming majority of the ACC agencies in the world are ineffective due to this very problem,” added the ACC official.

In many developing countries the ACC has been politically undermined to the extent of becoming a toothless organization. In Kenya in 2006 a government that won on the promise of fighting corruption saw its ACC head fleeing the country when senior members of the government gave death threats to him, while in Nigeria the ACC head was unceremoniously replaced on flimsy grounds.

There is growing apprehension in ACC that due to ACC handling the cases of big politicians there could be a similar fate reserved for the ACC in Bhutan.

Gyelpozhing is the first major case involving the powerful and influential that the ACC is handling, however, given the obstacles being put up ACC officials feel that in the future ACC may not take up such cases.

“We anticipate such unnecessary interventions growing in the future. Since ACC’s policy is to look at substantive cases it is just the beginning. And then in the future ACC will decide weather or not to take up cases or just pursue on softer issues of public education and prevention,” said the ACC official.

ACC officials are also highly apprehensive with the High Court verdict on the suspension of Home Minister and Speaker. A particular clause that ACC officials feel will hamper ACC’s investigation efforts in the future is the High Court ordering ACC to consult the head of agencies before suspending anyone as issues like conflicting legal clauses, public interest etc might be at stake.

The ACC official said, “This sort of thing is tantamount to getting the permission of the head of the agency even while detaining and suspending someone during the course of the investigation. With this, there is a potential risk of evidence being destroyed, removed, fabricated, collusion and even flight sometimes.”

ACC officials already plan to appeal against the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court.

The strong and unexpected opposition to the ACC from various quarters has also affected the morale of the ACC officers. ACC already had a high retrenchment rate with many people both at the senior and junior levels leaving the organization in the past.

“The morale of ACC officers will definitely be affected,” said an ACC official.

Within ACC there is now disillusionment with the government over’s its earlier stated policy of ‘zero tolerance against corruption,’ and it’s proclaimed support to the ACC to fight corruption.

“Zero tolerance policy makes no sense if there is no action and behavioral change,” said the ACC official.

The official also said, “When you talk of support it should be by way of strengthening one’s own organization, building an anti corruption culture and having a strong system of integrity.”

Most government agencies are yet to implement the ACC’s Corruption Risk Management system to reduce the risk of corruption in their agencies.

 

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23 comments

  1. plez ACC we all the public are proud of you and also it is really impressed to hear that we stand top 5th in pacefic and asia and in the world 33th. you can give ur effort and dont get morally down.. coz public can understand if you lost the case with AOG. ACC IS NOT IS NOT LOOSER BUT PUBLIC OF BHUTAN IS THE LOOSER. and we really support you. and surely we will wait for 2013 election. try to be the best country in the world and we r also hoping to come in top 10 th position in world index free corruption. corrupted people should be taken out first,

  2. I will most passionately request acc to remain committed to fight corruption—small or big. Most bhutanese are behind you to lend supporting hand. If you give up at this stage of fighting corruption the only sufferer will be poor and ordinary bhutanese. Acc is the only institution that can cleanse our system and hence I request all bhutanese to  give moral support to acc and its committed officials. Keep up the good work.

    Cheers

  3. Yes coz of all the political pressure, the OAG is unnecessarily intervening the ACC’s decision. i as a simple citizen can feel the humiliation to ACC by OAG. such thing will definitely weaken the effectiveness of ACC in future. we urge ACC to fight until the case is satisfactorily solved. we don’t hope the proper judgement from S.court too as he was also named in the scam case before. the case might reach to golden throne at last to decide. let us see……..and wait….from SC’s Judgement first.

  4. ACC should not be deterred by such situations and it should not undermine its resolve to eradicate corruption in Bhutan. Unlike in other countries, Bhutan cannot effort to have such situation given its small size and it is very for Bhutan to let corruption breed. Like a volcano one day everything might explode and that time it would be too late.

    Our court is also very funny. The law is not meant for politicians and powerful people to play with. It is by the people and for the people. If there are corrupt judges, kick them out and replace them.

    ACC should not give up. Lets wait for 2013 election and see which political parties will have strong will power to kill corruption. The present government is corruption seed.

  5. OAG’s unrelenting interference particularly in this case involving ruling governments minister is a clear sign of lack of integrity on both the OAG and the government. The very government that swears by zero tolerance to corruption and request ACC to investigate the Gyelposhing case is also the master behind the puppets in OAG’s shameless intervention. Perhaps the OAG lawyers are trained to defend certain ministers and not the government as it is mandated to. We the people of Bhutan are watching closely as to how this case concludes and mind you this one landmark case has far reaching impact on the future of rule of law in Bhutans democratic process. The judiciary needs to show to the people of bhutan that rule of law and justice shall prevail for the sake of Bhutanese democracy and at this point of time OAG needs to do some serious introspection on their integrity.

  6. In OAG is  Anti anti-corruption institution. 

  7. OAG where have you been when other civil servants were put behind the bar or thrown out of job just because of minor corruption? Why only this time you are so active or interested?????????????? 

  8. WHY PRIMEMINISTER ASKED THE ACC TO INVESTIGATE THE GYELPOSHING LAND CASE IN THE FIRST IF HE IS NOT GOING TO ACCEPT HIS FAULT. MAY BE HE IS TRYING TO FOOL THE COMMON CITIZEN OF BHUTAN BY MAKING ACC TO FOLLOW HIM LIKE HOW AOG FOLLOW HIM AT PRESENT, BUT AUM NATEN ZAM BEING REAL CITIZEN OF BHUTAN,SHE IS NOT LIKE BARING GOD AOG. THANKS GOD TO HAVE PEOPLE LIKE AUM NATEN ZAM IN ANIT-CORRUPTION.

  9. The ACC should file a case against OAG and AG for not carrying out their due functions for the people and the country and issue suspension order to this Stupid AG. The fact   that OAG and AG are dismissing evidence and reasons could understand as them undermining people who pay taxes to cover their payrolls. I pay taxes in many forms to pay their salaries nd the salaries of MP, minister, and PM and ever the monks and royals.
    I need answers and these people are account ale to people like me who pay taxes. 
    AG should be fired and impose sanction for cheating the constitution and the country. Of course the master trickery in present govt and who issued orders need to be prosecuted.
    We are so poor country among nations; but we have ghostly egos and shameless.

  10. ACC is forgetting to control and prevent corruption by dwelling in the past. ACC is also over-reacting to challenges and obstacles it faces doing their job. It must understand such obstacles are eminent even in future especially if they fail to understand the laws, consodilate their charges with strong evidence and if they try to bulldoze with their authority.  

  11. I am wondering OAG has dismissed the Gyelposhing case saying that there is no legal bases but ACC has filed the case in Mongar court. And court has taken up the case, so am wonder is OAG not a legal officer/Drangpon????? What is the reason??? We are more puzzled, what OAG is doing???

  12. bending over political presure wil further weaken the ACC ….why is our politician presurizing institution when their moto says justice and equality and where GNH says abt good governance…..its so frustrating……i knw OAG is being presurized by govt. to file petition wenever ACC files suit…..we need real change not the cosmetic change….

  13. ACC,Job well done for catching big and small fish!!!
    We the public are here to support you.
    The politician come and goes with fancy slogan to attract the voter during election, but we the public are not fool either.
    Even if they are free just now, we will make sure they don’t come back to power again.
    So cheer up and work harder to make Bhutan free of corruption. We understand how tough your jobs are

  14. Bhutan is still leaning on Ngoshey and drinshey that is where Coruption begins to germinate and There is no still behavioural change.It is high time that we stopped this menace irrespective of any privelege status involvment.

  15. You cannot blame whole staff of OAG but only head coz he’s been promised by DPT for next term if he fight with ACC against the two minIsters.  The staff of OAG is representing in the court because they  have been pressured by the head(AG). One guy is trying to rotten the OAG by looking into his personal interest.

  16. The government’s mandate of erasing inequalities of income should be questioned. How has this government lived this role? Defense is the new offense. Public questions onto to government’s wrongdoing is public showing how a government should function. Ideally, government should lead by example, not by protecting the acts of a few corrupt individuals. Sorry DPT, my vote unlike in 2008 isn’t for you guys.

  17. I think ACC should stop expecting easy victory. Just because their intention is noble, it doesn’t mean it is legal. They should fight step by step, obstacle by obstacle. What does it mean by making them weak.

    Does it expect their findings and actions to be bible truth?

  18. Gyeltshen Dorji

    ACC, we are very proud of your work……and please go forward. We assure u tht if the govt uses its power, people might have to think a lot…………

  19. ACC cut off every arm of the monster corruption one at a time. God bless ACC and May God bless the Kingdom of Bhutan.

  20. If JT and MD had an iota of morality and humility left in them, they would have resigned. They are wealth and power hungry. ACC take them to the court and unveil their sin and crush their egoes. I am disgusted with Bhutanese politicians.

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