Bhutan Improves in Corruption Perception Index

Bhutan climbed a spot up to the 26th position among 180 countries in the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 that the Transparency International (TI) released on February 21.

Bhutan Improves in Corruption Perception Index. (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

Bhutan Improves in Corruption Perception Index

Bhutan climbed a spot up to the 26th position among 180 countries in the global Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017 that the Transparency International (TI) released on February 21.

Bhutan had occupied the 27th spot consecutively in the previous two years.

The CPI measures the perception of corruption in a country’s public sector on a scale ranging from zero to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. Bhutan scored 67 points.

According to the TI, countries that score below 50 are perceived as highly corrupt.

The Chairperson of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Kinley Yangzom, said that the improvement in the ranking was a result of concerted efforts of all stakeholders including the top leadership, the government, general public, media and Bhutanese people in fighting against corruption.

“ACC remains grateful and is further encouraged and motivated by Bhutan’s improved rank and score,” she said.

How the neighbouring countries fare

In the SAARC region, Bhutan occupies the top spot, followed by India at a distant 81st spot. India is followed by Sri Lanka (91), the Maldives (112), Pakistan (117), Nepal (122), Bangladesh (143) and Afghanistan (177).

Overall, the progress in the fight against corruption in the world has been negligible with almost 69 percent of the countries scoring below 50.

The average global score is 43 out of 100.

A press release from the ACC states that this is the 12th successive year that Bhutan has made considerable progress in the CPI.

“Bhutan’s consistent progress in the CPI over the years, in particular for 2017, can be attributed to unstinted and unwavering political will in the fight against corruption,” states the press release.

The ACC states that the TI’s analysis of various data sources used for Bhutan revealed that the government and relevant stakeholders had undertaken significant initiatives on good governance towards promoting transparency and accountability.

They included ensuring the quality of budgetary and financial management through the introduction of the Government Performance Management System (GPMS).

Improved accountability mechanisms helped Bhutan to achieve this ranking

The GPMS, the ACC states, increased civil society participation, and most importantly improved accountability mechanisms initiated across the agencies, among others helped Bhutan to achieve this ranking.

In Asia and the Pacific region, Bhutan has been consecutively ranked sixth.

However, the ACC cautioned that Bhutan is not immune to corruption risks and that the rank and the score is not a solace as advanced countries are also equally vulnerable to new forms of corruption risk.

“Thus, it is important to sustain the current momentum of fighting corruption and remain united against the social menace – corruption towards realizing the goals of Gross National Happiness,” the ACC stated.

This year, New Zealand and Denmark ranked the highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia ranked the lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively.

According to the ACC, civil society organisations (CSOs) and media are essential in applying pressure and keeping the governments honest and accountable. CSOs play a key role in denouncing the violations of rights or speaking out against breaches of law, it added.

The ACC stated that a free and independent media, similarly, serves an important function in investigating and reporting incidences of corruption. “The voices of both civil society and journalists put a spotlight on bad actors and can help trigger action by law enforcement and the court system.”

TI’s recommendations for Bhutan

Among other measures, the TI has recommended that governments do more to encourage free speech, independent media, political dissent and an open and engaged civil society to curb corruption.

The TI also states that governments should minimise regulations on media, including traditional and new media, and ensure that journalists can work without fear of repression or violence.

In addition, it states that international donors should consider press freedom relevant to development aid or access to international organisations.

“CSOs and governments should promote laws that focus on access to information. This access helps enhance transparency and accountability while reducing opportunities for corruption. It is important, however, for governments to not only invest in an appropriate legal framework for such laws, but also commit to their implementation,” the TI states in the report.

Governments and businesses, the TI states, should pro-actively disclose relevant public interest information in open data formats. The proactive disclosure of relevant data, including government budgets, company ownership, public procurement and political party finances allows journalists, civil society and affected communities to identify patterns of corruption more efficiently.

 

By MB Subba (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared in Kuensel.

 

 

Related Posts

Bhutan Ranks 60th Worldwide in Neonatal Mortality Rate

As a way forward it is has been found that Places, People, Products and Power to provide universal health coverage are...

Feb 22, 2018 12:32

Bhutan Government Waives Off USD 65 a Day for Tourists

The move is expected to promote tourism in the eastern part of the country

Dec 11, 2017 09:33

43 Bhutanese Receive Australian Government Scholarships

The 43 Bhutanese awardees come from various sectors and were selected on the basis of their potential to help build...

Nov 25, 2017 10:03

Thimphu TechPark aims to attract foreign investment

The main mission of the company is to attract reputed IT/ITES companies from both within Bhutan and around the world to...

Oct 01, 2017 17:37

​Bhutan is the 3rd Fastest Growing Economy in 2017

Lyonchhen said that if one went by The Economist ‘World in numbers’ figures, then Bhutan is predicted to be the fastest...

Jan 03, 2018 11:36

Techstars Startup Weekend Bhutan (Eco-Tourism): 54 Hours where...

The eventful weekend saw 130 keen people in attendance, of which 56 pitched ideas. This was the fifth time that such an...

Nov 29, 2017 08:46

Latest

News

Drukair Orders New Aircraft That's Equipped With Latest Visual Technology

The new ClearVision technology on the aircraft allows pilots to get a clear picture of the runway while landing the aircraft.

Jul 19, 2018 12:47

After 9 Years, The Amochhu Bridge In Bhutan Finally Opened On 14 July 2018

The driving distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is now reduced to 57km from 81.2km

Jul 18, 2018 14:57

Features

Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To Excel Holistically

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace, harmony and...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14

Sports

Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Jul 08, 2018 18:16

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable Experiences At The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower Secondary School,...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06

Business

Cottage And Small Industry Which Saw 20% Growth Is A Pillar Of Bhutan’s Industry Sector

To date, the CSIs constitute more than 90 percent of Bhutan’s industry sector.

Jul 19, 2018 13:46

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23

Travel

Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some Culinary Delights You Must Not Miss!

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong Tshechu (Brawl Festival) In Bhutan

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the country,” said...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44

Lifestyle

Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

Jul 17, 2018 17:19

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of Bhutan-India Friendship Ended With Colourful Traditional Dances

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the festival.

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!