Thukten Zangpo

The majority of the National Council (NC) members yesterday supported the Anti-Corruption Commission’s human resource (HR) independence during the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2021 deliberation.

The NC’s Good Governance Committee (GGC) proposed Section 8 in the Bill on the commission’s security and independence of adequate human resources.

Section 8(1) states that the commission shall determine its organisational structure and administer it independently.

Moreover, Section 8(2) states that the commission shall have independence and powers to regulate appointments, management, and dismissal of its staff other than a member.

GGC’s Chairperson and Dagana MP, Surjaman Thapa, said the section was not tabled by the National Assembly (NA) in the summer session this year.

However, he added that the commission has been proposing HR independence many times and was also reflected in its annual report published every year.

“Because of HR shortage, most of the cases remained in backlog,” Surjaman Thapa said, adding that the commission required 174 HR, however, currently, it has 120.

“If the human resources are still deployed by the Royal Civil Service Commission, the civil servants will be investigating or prosecuting other civil servants working,” he said, adding that the conflict of interest might arise. GGC’s Deputy Chairperson, Bumthang MP, Nima said that it would not happen immediately.

The NC members sought clarifications on the benefit and need of the oversight function committee while granting independence.

Meanwhile, the members also sought clarifications on the new Section 41(1) (f) proposed by the committee relating to outsourcing most of its research and advocacy programs, Section 42 (3) about active bribery of public servant; Section 128 (a), (b), and (c) prosecution referral and on the definition of public servants.

NC’s GGC proposed a total of 61 amendments to the House with some additional provisions by the committee. The NA adopted the Anti-Corruption (Amendment) Bill 2021 on June 7, this year, with an amendment of 50 provisions.

While the House approved most of the sections proposed by the committee, it reverted the aforementioned provisions to the committee for further review.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk