About 200 human resource officers (HRO) and asset declaration administrators (ADA) were trained for two weeks on integrity, transparency, accountability, and professionalism.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) organised the second round of training of trainers (ToT) in Phuentsholing, which concluded on June 22.

The training emphasised on the role of HROs as “integrity advocate” under the RCSC’s redefined scope of their responsibilities by prompting discussions and providing practical measures to mainstream integrity infrastructures in agencies.

ACC officials said the training was aimed to enhance the ethical competencies of HROs to build an effective compliance regime towards promoting an organisational culture that upholds the values of integrity, transparency, accountability, and professionalism in agencies.

The participants were asked to formulate an organisational integrity plan (OIP), while being sensitised on ethics and integrity promotion tools such as gifts, conflicts of interest, asset declaration management, code of conduct, grievance redress mechanism and risk assessments within their agencies.

In his opening remarks, ACC commissioner Jamtsho highlighted that the Transparency International’s corruption perception index 2016 ranked Bhutan as the 27th cleanest country out of 176 countries. “Our aim is to strive to attain the 20th position by 2020.”

He also said that in the Asia and Pacific region, Bhutan has maintained the 6th position in the last five years.

The commissioner said that the realisation of this target demands concerted efforts through cooperation and collaboration from all stakeholders to build systems of higher standards of integrity that will play the role of firewall against the menace of corruption.

He said that ACC has been working hard towards promoting a culture of integrity within the governance systems and society at large since its establishment. “There is a greater awareness of the need for ethics, accountability, transparency, integrity and professionalism in public life today.”

Jamtsho said such reforms are crucial to protecting public resources, enhancing public sector performance, and strengthening the government’s role in orchestrating development and providing basic services.

The HRO of Punakha dzongkhag administration, Lobzang, said the training has broadened his understanding of the systems in place to collectively ensure transparent and fair systems. “The fair systems would reduce chances of people engaging in the corrupt practices.”

He said that the training, however, stressed on individuals to take moral responsibility and not to tolerate corruptions of any form.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing