No gifts recorded in the gift registers officials maintain

Corruption: If the gift register they maintain is anything to go by, either it is a good deterrent or Bumthang dzongkhag officials are not used to receiving gifts when shouldering their responsibilities.

The dzongkhag administration introduced the gift register as agreed in the annual performance agreement (APA) to implement the national integrity and anti-corruption strategy (NIAS). The NIAS is one of the mandatory success indicators aimed to curb corruption and promote integrity in civil service as recommended by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The dzongkhag administration notified its civil servants to declare gifts they receive in the register with the dzongkhag. The rule applied to civil servants at all levels.

“Since there is nothing in the register, it is assumed that nobody has received any gift in 2015,” dzongkhag planning officer, Chedup Dorji said. There are no records even in the gift registers with the sectors heads. “No one has offered gifts except doma to any of us here,” dzongkhag engineer, Yeshey Dorji said.

In gewogs, respective gewog administrative officers (GAO) were asked to open gift registers and maintain records of gifts taken by local leaders and the civil servants. Sector heads in dzongkhag were to monitor the flow of gifts in their sectors.

The gift registers were to record with date, details of recipient, designation, givers’ name, village with house number and citizenship identity card number alongside specifications of reasons for offer and type of gift.

As of now, the register kept with the personal assistant to dzongdag hasn’t recorded any civil servants receiving any gifts from anyone.

Even the registers maintained with the gewogs Ura, Chokhor, Tang and Chumey haven’t recorded any gifts received. “Nobody gave any of us anything yet,” Chokhor GAO, Kencho Tshering said.

While doma seem to be the most common gift, it is not recorded because of its monetary value. “Only gifts of some monetary value such as grains and clothes would be recorded,” Kencho Tshering said.

The planning officer said the gift registers from gewogs, sector heads and dzongkhag would be reviewed in January during the APA meeting.

Tempa Wangdi, Bumthang