19 officials yet to declare assets

ACC: More than two weeks after the month long grace period for 2014 ended on April 30, a total of 19 officials out of the 45 under Schedule I are yet to declare their assets with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Schedule I comprise ministers, MPs, heads of political parties, heads of civil society organisations, members and commissioners of constitutional offices, among others.  The remaining public servants fall under schedule II.

As of yesterday, there were 19 non-declarants, the ACC posted on its website. Twenty-nine declared within 18 days after the deadline. The ACC collected Nu 3,970 as penalty from seven declarants, while the rest are yet to pay.

The list of non-declarants includes MP from the Khamdang-Ramjar constituency, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa President, Executive Director of Druk Plaster and Chemical Ltd. and Chairman of Hotel & Restaurants Association of Bhutan among others.

The ACC revealed that 38 out of 167 agencies have submitted their asset declaration report, while 129 haven’t. The last date of submission for agencies is May 31.

ACC spokesperson, Kezang Jamtsho, in an earlier interview said action would be taken against the non-declarants, as per the asset declaration rules. According to the Asset Declaration Rules 2012, a person, who fails to furnish valid information, will be considered to be in possession of “unexplained wealth” and he or she can be investigated by the ACC.

According to ACC, the total number of declarants in Schedule I increased from 427 in 2013 to 438 last year 2014.  The compliance rate is 88.4 percent, with 393 declaring their assets and liabilities, an increase of 2.7 percent over last year.

Meanwhile, the ACC’s annual report 2014 states that administering AD of the latter continues to be a challenge. The report states that 21,000 Schedule II declarants have filed their declarations online this year.

MB Subba

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