English | Dzongkha Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Favouritism in public service delivery, the most prevalent form of corruption

Jun 27, 2020

The perception of corruption in the form of favouritism based on friendship and family relationship is prevalent in public service delivery as per the National Integrity Assessment (NIA) report 2019.

The result confirms Bhutan Transparency Initiatives’ 2016 findings, which showed that nepotism and favouritism are the topmost forms of widespread corruption in Bhutan.

Some of the complaints received by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on nepotism and favouritism were selection and recruitment process, nomination, evaluation and award of the tender, and procurement services bidding. 26.60% of the respondents reported that family relationships were beneficial in processing services faster. This was followed by personal relationships and being from the same region or Dzongkhag. Moreover, respondents felt that personal relationships, such as the school/college/training mates, instruction from the supervisors, having an influential person, and instructions from the central government also play an influential role in processing the services faster.

“Incidences of payments of entertainments like food and drinks to the public officials are the most rampant when it comes to experiences of corruption which is followed by the providing of other forms of gratifications like gifts, accommodations, transportations to public officials. And next is incidences of payments of cash or kind to public officials to get the services,” said Kinzang Gyeltshen, the NIA Coordinator in ACC.

As per the assessment, one in 147 offered entertainment such as food and drinks to get the services. This is the most prevalent form of corruption experienced by the respondents. The majority of the respondents felt that corruption is quite serious in Bhutan and has increased over the last five years. The ACC will now develop agency-specific reports to facilitate respective agencies to further work on enhancing the integrity of an agency and to institutionalise appropriate systems.

However, going by the reports, corruption experienced in service delivery is very minimal with the score at an outstanding level.

Samten Dolkar 

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