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Austria-Bhutan sign three agreements

Thinley Namgay  —

The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) and the Austrian Coordination Office (ACO) signed three grant contract agreements at GNHC office yesterday for financial assistance of Euro 5.3 million.

The grant is a part of ACO’s assistance to the 12th five year plan (FYP) and it will be implemented by Justice Sectors, Royal Audit Authority (RAA) and Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC).

GNHC DG Rinchen Wangdi and ACO Resident Coordinator Johannes Binder exchange the agreements yesterday

Assistance will address access to a free and fair justice and enhance the capacity of justice sector institutions under Justice Sector Programme, enabling RAA’s capacity and accountability in diverse and emerging specialised auditing fields and to enhance the domestic capacity in hydropower sectors.

From the total financial assistance of Euro 5.3 million, Euro 4.5 million is allocated for the Justice Sector Programme in achieving 12th FYP and in particular for the National Key Result Area (NKRA) 16 (i.e. justice services) and NKRA 12 (i.e. reducing corruption).

GNHC’s Director General, Rinchen Wangdi said that signing the Justice Sector Programme grant agreement would results in better access to free and fair justice.  “The capacities of all legal institutions will be strengthened.”

Justice Sector Programme has three main objectives: to make justice competent and motivated, justice sector services accessible and inclusive, and the infrastructure adequate to deliver justice services more efficiently.

Improving access to justice services and improving access to information are intended for second goal. Action areas for the final objective includes, enhancement of forensic capability and enhanced justice services through infrastructure development.

Justice Sector Programme will support the justice service providers comprising the Royal Court of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, Anti-Corruption Commission, Royal Bhutan Police, Bhutan National Legal Institute, National Commission of Women and Children, Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law, Bar Council and Alternate Dispute Resolution Centre.

RAA and DGPC will receive Euro 0.2 million and Euro 0.6 million respectively for the capacity development.

“Assistance rendered will have immense benefit as both RAA and DGPC has shifted their focus in line with the requirement of international auditing standards and construction of hydropower,” said Director General, Rinchen Wangdi.