HR: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to ensure the former has enough human resources to fight corruption, yesterday.

Recognising the importance of a strong anti-graft agency to prevent and combat corruption in the country, the ACC was established through a Royal Decree in December 2006.

Since then, ACC has been trying to build a professional anti-corruption cadre with a high level of motivation, integrity and professionalism. However, as the ACC’s work was deemed sensitive, finding suitable people to work with the commission had been a big challenge from the beginning with the RCSC  reluctant to give the commission human resource (HR) independence.

The issue has been highlighted in all the ACC annual reports, discussed in Parliament and resolutions passed for the RCSC and ACC to mutually resolve the HR issues. It continues to be so even after a decade of its establishment.

Hence, the first priority of the new commission after assuming office in August 2015 has been to resolve the HR issues with the initiative of organisational re-structuring and staffing.

As per the ACC’s HR master plan 2015-2020, the commission targets to increase its staff strength to 147 from the existing 88 by 2020. This could become a reality with the RCSC approving the recruitment of 21 staff out of 24 proposed for 2016 alone. The new recruitment included two directors and three chiefs.

The MoU signed between the two agencies yesterday paves the way for further realisation of a stronger and efficient ACC. The MoU signed by ACC chairperson Kinley Yangzom and RCSC chairperson Dasho Karma Tshiteem was to provide a framework for cooperation and collaboration between the two agencies to mutually resolve HR issues in the ACC, promote ethics and integrity, educate and prevent corruption in the civil service and provide access to information.

The MoU states that the RCSC will consider transfer of professionals, including through open competition as long as the specialised knowledge and skills are relevant to ACC, which may approve payment of higher salary or higher contract allowance based on qualification and relevant work experience.

With the signing of MoU, the commission will have enough manpower to focus on investigation. ACC commissioner Jamtsho said that this MoU will not only help to expedite investigation on more than 600 backlog cases but also focus on an advocacy programme on preventing and combating corruption and systemic research and studies.

As of December 2015, there were about 529 backlog cases, all qualified for investigation.

Rinzin Wangchuk