The Anti-Corruption Commission’s National Integrity Assessment 2022 has labelled Parliamentarian’s integrity index as ‘satisfactory’. The Parliamentarians scored 6.9 in the Assessment’s parliamentary integrity index, which according to the report, shows weakness in the oversight and legislative functions. However, during the deliberation on the Review Report of the ACC’s Annual Report 2022-2023 today, the members of the National Council raised their concerns about the index score.
The chairperson of the Good Governance Committee of the National Council said the National Integrity Assessment 2022 was conducted with over 12,600 respondents including farmers, MPs, and others.
“There were incidents where the Parliamentarians could not fulfil people’s aspirations and also their target. Even when preparing legislation, it was perceived to be just satisfactory in terms of consulting people. The assessment perceived the Members of Parliament did biased works when it comes to acquaintances and strangers,” said MP Phuntsho Rapten, the head of the committee.
Similarly, other members of the house raised their concerns regarding the ‘satisfactory’ rating.
“Being a Member of Parliament, it is worrying when seeing a score that is just satisfactory. We have members who understand the goals of the nation and people’s aspirations and needs. But I am also worried that maybe we are lacking collective responsibility,” said Jamyang Namgyal, the MP of Pema Gatshel.
“Due to safety protocols during COVID-19, the parliamentarians were not able to meet with people. So, this might have been one factor for the Parliamentarian integrity index score. Now, when things are getting back to normal after the pandemic, even in our tenure if we do not consult with people, the assessment will stay the same,” said Haa MP Dago Tsheringla.
Meanwhile, to improve the Parliamentarian Integrity Index score, the MPs recommended visiting their districts and constituencies for longer durations.
The Good Governance Committee also recommended creating awareness at the grassroots like schools and institutions. However, this recommendation was not passed and will be reviewed by the committee.
A recommendation was also made to address concerns about potential risks to the autonomy of the ACC.
The committee also recommended the finance ministry and the ACC explore the best alternatives for budget allocation to sustain the ACC’s efforts.
Meanwhile, the Review Report of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s Annual Report 2022-2023 will be endorsed in the next sitting.