Bhutan Transparency Group Annual Report
The Transparency Bhutan Group (TBG) was initiated in 2013 by a group of four volunteers with the hope of establishing a leading Civil Society Organization working dedicatedly to enhance good governance in Bhutan. While Bhutan ranks quite well on the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International (TI), we as people cannot be complacent but work tirelessly to enhance good governance. In any country, irrespective of the system of governance, transparency and accountability are important to ensure good governance. Therefore, TBG’s key aim is to evolve into a reference actor related to understanding, analyzing and acting for transparency, accountability and anti-corruption in Bhutan through the provision of policy oriented research, development of training tools and facilitation of policy dialogue. However, for TBG to engage itself meaningfully, the priority need was to be registered as a legal entity with the Civil Society Authority of Bhutan. So the group approached the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) for assistance.
Fortunately for TGB, the SDC very generously agreed to support it during the initial stage of establishment mainly in respect to rental of office space and necessary furniture and equipment, preparation of registration documents, development of a Strategic Framework, capacity building and other related activities. This assistance was affected in the form of a contract between the SDC and the TBG on the 26th of December 2013. While the first contract was for a period of six months, the general commitment expressed by SDC was for 3 years (2013to 2016).
In accordance to the contract TBG was allocated an establishment grant of Nu3.425 million for the six months (December 2013 to June 2014). As specified in the contract document TBG initiated the activities and now has a comfortable working space located in Chang Jhallu, Thimphu ,with all necessary furniture and equipments. It is also manned by 2 staff, the project director and an assistant program officer. It has a draft strategic plan in place which is awaiting final endorsement and feedback from the Governing Board of Directors and members. The registration documents have been submitted to the CSOA and the first reading has been undertaken by the legal consultant of the CSOA. Capacity building is ongoing. However, other activities of the TBG like coalition building and advocacy programs could not be conducted as there was a verbal restraining order from the CSOA till accord of registration approval.
TBG has thus fulfilled most of the obligation as specified in the contract to the worth of worth Nu.2.278 million. Other works amounting to Nu. 1.021 million could not be carried out as the CSO registration has not been done as yet.