Code of Conduct of a Member
Code of Conduct is a set of written and unwritten rules describing the appropriate behavior and conduct necessary for the National Council to carry out its parliamentary duties. Parliament may, from time to time, make laws to regulate the conduct of a member. Among others, Chapter 11 of the National Council of Bhutan Act 2008 stipulates the following:
- Place the highest importance to serving the Tsa-Wa-Sum with utmost loyalty and dedication, and fulfill his/her responsibilities by following the highest moral principles.
- Not indulge in any activity that adversely affects the National Council, national sovereignty and integrity of Bhutan and is responsible to the Druk Gyalpo and the National Council for his/her actions.
- Not be influenced in any manner whatsoever by any individual or body of individuals in the discharge of his/her duties.
- Always uphold first and foremost the national interest in discharging his/her duties and functions.
- Refrain from casting his/her vote on any issue where he/she has a conflict of interest.
a) General Conduct
- A member must ensure that his personal conduct is consistent with the dignity, reputation and integrity of the National Council;
- A member must at all times conduct himself / herself in a courteous and respectful manner and respect the authority of the Chairperson. In particular, he/she must not speak or leave the House when the Chairperson is speaking and speak standing at his/her place while addressing the Chairperson and the National Council;
- A member must not conduct himself/herself in a manner that would constitute a criminal offence or contempt of the National Council;
- A member must not display any disorderly conduct in the National Council Hall.
- Foul language, loud laughter and clapping are not permitted in the National Council Hall;
- A member must address the National Council one by one and avoid using improper language in expressing their views during the deliberation;
- Under compelling circumstances, if a member has to leave the National Council Hall, he/she must lower his/her kabney/rachu and bow while leaving and re- entering as a gesture of respect to the House;
- A member must not unduly influence the Government officials or Ministers in a case in which he/she is financially or personally interested nor elicit information from the Government in an unauthorized manner;
- A member must not appear before a Minister or a Government official in his/her capacity as a lawyer, legal advisor, counsel or a solicitor;
- A member must not recommend any of his/her relations or other persons with whom he/she has direct or indirect interest for employment or business contracts to Government officials;
- A member who has the floor under proper procedure should not be interrupted by other members; and
- A member must not impose threat, intimidation or use individual influence to encourage another member to make any remarks in the National Council.
A Member of the National Council must not:
- Purchase or lease any government property even if the sale or lease has been offered in public auction;
- Simultaneously belong to different committees, commissions or boards except as otherwise provided by law made by Parliament;
- Be assigned any responsibility that may be reasonably construed to have conflict of interest;
- Undertake private employment or perform any function, which is liable to impair public confidence;
- Misuse official status, power or public property;
- Indulge in illegal or improper means; or
- Hold office of profit.
c) Other Obligations
- A member must not accept decorations from foreign countries and has to inform the National Council before receiving international awards.
- The National Council will decide whether the international award in question can be accepted by the member.
- A member must not maintain or operate bank accounts in any country outside Bhutan.
- During parliamentary delegations to foreign countries, a member must not give press statements regarding the visit. Such briefings of the press will be done by the leader of the delegation.
- A member must respect the apolitical nature of public service.