ACC has week teeth, corruption goes increasing
Thimphu, April 06, 2009: Though the ruling party DPT repeats its commitment to zero tolerance to corruption and Anti Corruption Commission envisions a corruption free state, instances of state fund embezzlement continue to surface.
Very recently, the district court of Mongar gave its verdict slapping former Silambi gup to an imprisonment term of three years four months for official misconduct, embezzlement and forgery.
The court verdict says, Wangdi Tshering made fabricated master roll for water supply project in villages and submitted it to the district administration for payment, whereby he was paid Nu 279,990. Later he refunded Nu 56,000 to the district finance section. The court also ordered the gup to refund the remaining balance of Nu.173990 to the government. The gup is also accused for forging the signature of a geog accountant in a hand receipt.
A report released by ACC shortly after this verdict says corruption leads to handsome benefits with low risk and cost to the person involved in the deed. The report underlined the urgent need for laws to be amended so that corruption is deterred.
It said the government administrative system, especially the financial and contract management system, was flawed, which made it very corruption-prone; and general tolerance of people to corruption, combined with weak accountability and transparency mechanism in the government.
ACC has demanded stronger provisions in ACC act 2006 by giving it more teeth to act against corrupt. Additionally, it has also demanded amendment of the Bhutan Penal Code with regard to stringent penalties to be given to persons involved in corruption.