Integrity Training to Civil Society Organizations.
27/05/2016. During the CSO retreat in Paro, the need for the CSOs to be trained on integrity was flagged. Concurrently, BTI agreed to spearhead this activity, as it was much in alignment to its mandate of promoting accountability, integrity and transparency. BTI organized the training with invitation to all the CSOs for participation. From the 47 registered CSOs, around fifty percent participated in the training. The resource person for the training was sourced from within the country for more relevance and impact as the training could be delivered in the Bhutanese context.
“Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code. The state of being unimpaired, soundness. The quality of being whole or undivided” was the definition used to define Integrity in the one day training held at NRDCL on 27th May, 2016. A strong sense of integrity had to be present in an individual if he was to resist corruption and keep it at bay. Integrity plays a pivotal role in fighting corruption and it is one major aspect in Anti-corruption agenda.
The one day training aimed at providing the participants with an opportunity to understand what integrity means and how we can cultivate it. Also it aimed in understanding corruption and its probable causes as well. Furthermore, it highlighted some of the risks faced by the civil society organization and public service provider agencies at large and discussed and elaborated the ways to combat corruption.
The one day training began with the registration of participants from 9 till 9:30 A.M. Then the Executive Director of BTI opened the floor with the introduction of Mr. Kezang Jamtsho who was the former commissioner of ACC to the gathering followed by brief introductory by the participants. Mr. Kezang Jamtsho, the facilitator briefed all the participants on the content of the integrity training. The actual training begun with power point presentation on etymology of word corruption, understanding corruption, introduction to Anti-Corruption Act of Bhutan 2011, corruption prevention strategies, imminent integrity risks, breaches and misconduct, risk management and finally corruption risks management process till lunch.
In continuation to the morning session, the facilitator presented another interesting power point presentation on practicing integrity through self management with the quote “what we need is not a leader to lead the masses-we need leadership of the self” –convocation address of His Majesty, Calcutta University, 5th October 2010. The trainer urged all the participants that integrity cannot be trained but only can be practiced. While practicing integrity, he pointed out that six factors such as culture, diligence, discipline, work environment, leadership and pressure may lead you to lose your integrity and practice corruption. To overcome the influence, one should live by set values, principles’, morals that we believe in such as trustworthy, fair, firm, impartial, transparent and professional.
He presented building systems integrity using integrity triangle to manage people and institution and also introduced screening tools against potential fraud, waste and abuse in the system. Towards evening, participants were divided into 6 groups and assigned to do presentation on probable risks in CSO’s and its measureable solutions. Last but not the least; our Executive Director Aum Pema Lhamo concluded the session by thanks giving to the facilitator for accepting BTI request to instruct CSO employees to institute integrity system in all the CSOs by inculcating individual integrity and then to the system and lastly to all the participants for right turn out.
“The highest probable risk to development that I foresee is corruption’. It was evident from His Majesty’s speech that despite being called the last Shangri-La on earth Bhutan still had its concerns and challenges.
-His Majesty the King
Date and Venue
The training took place on 27th May, 2016 at the conference hall of Bhutan Natural Resource Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) in Thimphu.
The training was facilitated by Mr. Kesang Jamtsho, the Former Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission of Bhutan and was co-facilitated by Ms. Pema Lhamo, the Executive Director, of Bhutan Transparency Initiative (BTI).
The one day training was successfully attended by the representatives from Public Beneficiary Organization and Mutually Benefit organization.
Objectives of the training:
• To identify integrity and its value and various methods of cultivating systematic integrity.
• To practice integrity within individuals and to promote integrity at large.
• To understand what is corruption and risk associated with it.
• To highlight probable future risks and measures for the sustainability of CSO’s.
• Concepts of understanding corruption to prevent integrity breach, administrative lapses and criminal conduct.
• Brain storming on corruption and integrity.
• Introduction of practicing integrity through self management.
• Introduction on building systems integrity.
• Group exercise on probable risks involved in CSO’s and followed by a plenary discussion.
When asked of the participants to identify the likely risks that CSOs could face during the group discussion and presentation the participants came out with some interesting views:
• Political alliance
-Affiliations with any of the parties could prove harmful. Indulging in political affairs may harm the CSO’s risks while also may get involved in practicing corruption.
• Mismanagement of the funds was also addressed.
• Lack of credibility.
-Lack of support from the government sectors and no recognition for the public services rendered by the CSOs.
• No proper financial reporting system.
• Sustainability risk.
• Competitions amongst the CSOs.
• Lack of appropriate mandate.
-Unavailability of clear mandates could jeopardize in award of projects and trust.
• Conflict of interest.
-conflicts may rise between the donors and the CSO or with the board.
• One man army.
-CSOs are generally a small firm so that means less employees working under it. That generally forces one man to handle an entire branch or projects which may lead to fewer outcomes.
So this was risks identified by the participants and risks every group agreed upon. With identification of these risks the participants also identified the measures for the risks in hand. Some were already existing measures while some were additional measures the participants conjured up.
• Donor reports.
– Timely and accurate reports on management of the funds and progress of the projects.
• Transparency and accountability.
• Form a human resource committee.
-Form a separate body of HR to management better.
• Active involvement from the board.
-Constant guidance from the board to supervise the projects.
• Come up with new ways to raise funds.
-Not only relying on donors for the funds but also organizing fund raising events.
• Meeting of all the CSOs once every year.
-Involvement from all the CSOs to eradicate future and currents issues.
• Develop own procurement guidelines.
• Proper monitoring system.
The training was well received by the participants and participants were empowered by the integrity training. After through discussion, all the CSOs agreed upon that they should be mindful of political affiliation with any of the political parties to remain corruption free and to function without any political interference. So political affiliation was identified as one the major risks in CSO. Another identified risks associated with CSO was with the case of multi-donors that is if one does not know how to show transparency and accountability to the donors. Finally CSO being not recognized for doing public services and lack of credibility was also highlighted.
All the participants agreed that the one day training on integrity was very helpful and they learned key notes on corruption risk and how it should be dealt accordingly. In addition to the training, it was also a get together opportunity for the CSOs. Finally all the participants gave very happy remarks against happy and not happy.