Principal and whistleblower punished

While the first was found guilty of a slew of charges, the latter has been indicted for dereliction of duty

Update: The principal of Ura middle secondary school (UMSS) Tshering Neema was transferred to Wangduecholing lower secondary school, after the dzongkhag administration found him guilty of illegal unauthorised expenditure, abuse of power, flagrant and wilful violation of rules and regulations on financial management and control.

The principal’s annual increment will also be withheld for three years, as per the Bhutan Civil Service Rules and Regulations (BCSR) 2012.

Clause 19.9.5.1 of the rule states that a major penalty shall consist of withholding of annual increment for a period of three to five years under administrative action of chapter 19.

Asked if transferring to Wangduecholing was a punishment, the deputy chief education officer, Lham Dorji, said it was the ministry’s decision to transfer the principal within the dzongkhag to keep him under close observation.

The whistleblower, teacher Karma Tenzin of UMSS, who lodged the complaint against his principal on corrupt practices to Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) has been transferred to Zhemgang.  The teacher has also been reprimanded for poor performance under administrative action.  Karma Tenzin’s promotion will be withheld for next four years.

“The dzongkhag administration would also like to inform your good office that a warning letter each to Karma Tenzin and Tshering Neema has been issued,” the letter to MoE and ACC stated.

The dzongkhag took administrative actions against both the parties, keeping in mind the reiterated directives to dzongkhag from the ministry and ACC on the need to take effective and fair decisions.

The dzongkhag administration met on March 18 to decide administrative actions against Tshering Neema and Karma Tenzin, as per the letter from the MoE on February 24.

The letter stated that only three offences were serious, of the 13 allegations levelled against the principal.

The allegations include instructing the mess in-charge to prepare a fake bill worth Nu 12,000, engaging supporting staff and students in contract work during office hours, and providing rations from the  students’ quota to carry out contract works.

Forging of fake cash hand receipt in an individual name of Gembo in Ura was the third offence.

Accordingly, the principal has been charged with incurring illegal and unauthorised expenditures including unjustified, irregular, excessive, unnecessary and extravagant expenses under the BCSR.

Tshering Neema was also charged for abuse of authority and position for engaging the students and supporting staff in personal and contract works during office hours.

For producing a bogus hand written cash receipt, the principal was charged under flagrant and willful violation of rules and regulations and laws on financial management and control.

No actions however were taken against the principal for use of corporal punishment on the students.

Karma Tenzin was also slapped with a warning letter for poor performance.  Officiating dzongda, Sonam Tshering said that the teacher failed to neither meet the required number nor maintained proper lesson plans.

“We thought that was a serious lapse on the teacher’s part demanding immediate reprimand,” Sonam Tshering said.

The warning letter stated that a civil servant should maintain the highest standard of, amongst others, integrity, honesty, fortitude, selflessness, loyalty, right attitude and aptitude, patriotism and endeavour to maintain professional excellence in service of Tsawa-Sum.

The letter further stated that, while going through earlier records of the 2012 and 2013 performance evaluations, Karma Tenzin’s performance was outstanding, whereas that of 2014’s was poor and failing to perform with efficiency and competence.

“Therefore you’re reminded to improve your performance by carrying out responsibilities as bestowed upon by the school,” the letter warned.

The reinvestigation was conducted, following a directive from ACC, after media reported serious discrepancies in the dzongkhag’s initial investigation in October 2014.

While the initial investigation report cleared the principal of allegations, the reinvestigation unearthed contradictory findings, confirming most of the allegations to be true, finally leading to these actions from the ministry.

By Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang 

15 replies
  1. Nomedei
    Nomedei says:

    Dear Whistleblower,
    With due respect and humble submission, I would like to suggest following point for your right justice.

    As per the suggestions of my previous participants, everyone seems to be unhappy to the decision taken by ACC, MoE and Bumthang Dzongkhag Administration. I too join in their line regarding the degree of justice. Therefore, the right place to get your justice is in the court of DRANGTHRIM. Its my suggestion. Whether to proceed or not is up to you.

    Hope you will get the right justice, if not the god will look into the matter and decide the right justice.

    Thank you
    Nomedei

    Note: Your problem with the manager had educated me in following areas;
    1. Our head injures knocking against the rock
    2. Corruption is still growing
    3. Boss are always right
    4. Justice stands only in the form of word
    5. Presence of cruel managers in the system

  2. Apple pie
    Apple pie says:

    What on earth made this where truth is not always known. We are now afraid to deliver the lapses as well as any of the corruption cases to the authority. If we do so then we are digging our own grave. Right under our nose of course we see such cases everywhere but then its better to back off if such things happen like the above mentioned problem. God please save Bhutan. Gigantic gap is been created between boss (not leader) and the employees.

  3. Predictor
    Predictor says:

    Whether the stone hits the butter or butter hits the stone, only butter will get smashed. The bosses are stones and the subordinates are butter. In theory, the govt seriously speaks against corruption. But when it comes to the reality, the higher authorities support the corrupt people. If transfer from a rural to urban school is a punishment, every principal or teacher should indulge in corruption.

  4. kuchupo
    kuchupo says:

    It is a very sad story. May be GOD sees the TRUTH and waits!!!!! If some teachers are fans of bosses they are everything, and no matter how much work hard is put in you are not at all recognize for your hard work if you are not fan of these stupid bosses. I curse myself having to serve under such boss.

  5. Nomedei
    Nomedei says:

    Is the allegations same and had equal weightage? Is the justice fair? His majesty the fifth Druk Gyalpo had a concern on corruption and said even if we misuse a penny it’s a corruption, during the 107th National Day at Kanglung but I doubt whether the concern authorities had a concern too and working to minimize the corruption. It’s believed to be a zero tolerance but where is the zero tolerance? Is the action taken, a zero tolerance? I don’t blame media but want to thank as they are performing their duties well, but I am not happy to see why the concern authorities have no trust in them. Looking to the action taken I came to the conclusion that the concern authority is rather encouraging to do corruption. It was clearly mentioned in the media that the first investigation is clean but how comes almost all the allegations came true in the second investigation. So the question is, does the investigation team doing justice? Needs to investigate the investigation team itself and who’s responsibility for it?

  6. kotong
    kotong says:

    principal himself being a head of the school was so irresponsible and every teacher would not want to work with such head. its principals responsibility to monitor weather his teachers are up to date or not…..and Bhutan’s decisive authorities are in questioning the whistle blower and punishing him instead of protecting. This indirectly stops raising voice in future…please God let Bhutan open its eyes

  7. Nomedei
    Nomedei says:

    How can one believe that transferring from a remote and cold place like Ura to a facilitated area like Wangduecholing is a punishment?????? When principal had so many serious offences including forgery, instruct to prepare the fake bells and etc… his punishment was to withheld annual increments for 3 yrs which will be only Nu. 1500/ (500×3=1500. Estimated). where as for whistleblower, who lodge the complaints against the principal trying to help the system has been transferred to the remotest dzongkhag withholding his promotion for next 4 yrs which is the only benefits for teachers this will be a great loss for a poor and innocent teacher like him. (3500x12x4=Nu. 1,68,000. estimated)
    People of Bhutan wants to ask questions to MoE, Beside whristleblower, is there any other teachers qho failed to meet the required number of lesson plans or he is the only one who fail to meet the required lesson plans after messing with the principal??????? As per the warning letter, for MoE, seems one who abuse the power, flagrant of rules and regulations on financial management poses/consider as a integrity, right attitude and aptitude, patriotism and endeavor to maintain professional excellence in service of Tsawasum. I can’t believe these.

  8. Sensitive
    Sensitive says:

    What a shame on the officials who decided this ridiculous case. the officials who investigated this matter should be seriously questioned because, in the first place, they tried to hide the truth by saying that the principal did not commit any mistakes. Thanks to ACC, reinvestigation was done and the truth came out. Again, those officials have highly favoured the principal with much lighter punishment compared to the whistle blower. There is now no doubt that the principal is a close relative of a very influential senior officer. I think the ACC must once again interfere in this case. Or, the teacher can even take the matter to the court for justice. The higher authorities generally do not realize how corrupt the school principals are.

  9. Green SUN
    Green SUN says:

    What a funny judgement from funny leaders where true criminal was given very light punishment n the whistleblower was given very serious punishment for trying to save the governments property n money from very corrupted principal. Does it mean that Bumthang Dzongkhags investigation teams are in favour of corruption? I feel that it was a bonus for that man to be transferred to wangdichholing lss then punishment. Hope he may not pose risk to the carrier of wangdicholing LSS school staff.
    Whistle blower atleast deserved to be treated little bit better than how he had been punishment for silly reason and even the investigation team deserves the same punishment as they ve meted out to that whistle blower.
    May justice prevail in the land of Pelden Drukpa.

  10. online
    online says:

    The reason for punishing the whistle blower does not justify the degree of punishment meted towards him. It seems that they just want to pass the message that they were humiliated for having to undergo re investigation. It is also a consolation to the corrupt principal for whom they seems to be obliged. A rationale human demands investigation into their judgement.

  11. handle
    handle says:

    What a ridiculous verdict! The whistle blower was rewarded with a’ held ‘of promotion and transfer to another dzongkhag for trying to save government from loosing a huge amount from a corrupt principal. While the principal was punished with a transfer to a more comfortable school at the dzongkhag.
    Few things were to be noted.
    1) Out of thirteen allegations, three were proven to be true while the only charges to the teacher was his poor P.E ratings (that too after messing with the principal)
    2) The initial investigation by dzongkhag ruled out corruption. But was convicted after the reinvestigation on the command of ACC.
    3) There wasn’t any action on using corporal punishment by the principal.
    4) Three annual increment of the principal was held against the four year promotion for teacher.

    On a closer look, the whistle blower did not get justice. The dzongkhag investigating team should be punishable for keeping clean in the first investigation.
    The teacher does not deserve punishment to that extent.

    Such verdicts would bury the individual trying to combat corruption. Let’s not hope of zero tolerance to corruption with such deeds and not expect whistle blower in future.

  12. joker
    joker says:

    Wherever and whatever the case may be taking place, the bosses are always favoured against the subordinates. The principal has thre serious offences, but the penalty is withholding of annual increments for three years only. The teacher has only one fault, but his promotion is withheld for four years. How on Earth is this judgement fair? Does this mean that bosses should not be questioned no matter whatever they do? Does this mean that corruption can never be curbed in Bhutan? There are always two rules, one for the bosses and the other for the subordinates.

  13. Dawbus
    Dawbus says:

    If the Govt. or Authorities are punishing the whistle blower instead of Appreciating, there will be increase in Corruption Like this Principal. The reason for punishing the whistle blower is not a serious cse to suspend his promotion for 4 yrs. If we go and check evry teachers and the Authorities themselves, they won’t have the works updated in proper manner.
    I guess jst 5% of total teachers will maintain this records and plans. Govt. and authorities have to look into this matter.

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