… Report recommends enhancing access to information to promote civic engagement

Lhakpa Quendren  

Bhutan scored 68 points consecutively for the fifth year in a row and has been ranked 25 for the second consecutive year in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2022 released on January 31.

Bhutan is among 124 countries that have stagnant scores and has been consecutively placed in sixth position in the Asia and Pacific Region for the past 10 years.

According to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Bhutan’s consistent performance, in the past 10 years, indicates that the country is doing moderately well in making progress toward sustainable development.

The ACC in the press release mentioned that Bhutan has prioritised integrity and accountability on the national agenda under the visionary and unerring Leadership of His Majesty The King.

“While Bhutan’s score has moderately improved over the last decade, Bhutan is now at the critical point where “statistically significant” changes would be necessary to improve its score and rank in the TI’s CPI,” it stated.

According to the commission, this means that Bhutan has to match up with the developed nations ranked above it which have the political system and economic environment or institutional characteristics to encourage low levels of corruption.

The national target for the 12th Five-Year Plan is to improve Bhutan’s CPI score to 69 by 2023 from the baseline of 67 in 2017, according to ACC.

“Promoting systems of integrity and strengthening governance machinery with enhanced accountability and transparency is a critical precondition to realise the Royal Vision of ‘developed Bhutan’ over the next 10 years,” it stated.

ACC says, hence, the anti-corruption agenda must remain one of the national priorities for a greater conscious effort in reducing corruption in the country. “The ACC is geared towards contributing to the long-term national goal guided by its strategic anti-corruption roadmap 2021-2030.”

The key interventions in the fight against corruption include the implementation of an integrity vetting system, model public service code of conduct, lifestyle watch of public servants, proactive research and intel-based investigation, strengthening law enforcement and regulatory agencies, and promoting the participation of youth, media, civil society, and private sector.

The highest-scoring region is Western Europe and European Union with an average score of 66 and the lowest-scoring region is Sub-Saharan Africa with an average score of 32.

The five cleanest countries are Denmark (90), Finland (87), New Zealand (87), Norway (84), and Singapore (83) with Denmark improving its score by two while the score for the other four countries has declined from the CPI 2021.

The bottom countries are Somalia (12), Syria (13), South Sudan (13), Venezuela (14), and Yemen (16).


The CPI 2022 calls the attention of governments across the globe to prioritise transparency, oversight, and accountability.

To promote civic engagement and oversight of resource distribution and spending, the report recommends enhancing access to information.

The report also recommends strengthening institutional controls to reinforce checks and balances and separation of power and regulating and controlling conflict of interests in service delivery and public processes.

The recommendations include combatting transnational forms of corruption through international cooperation and collaboration.