Experts for external oversight to curb corruption in ACC

DHAKA, Jan 18, 2017 (BSS) - Experts have stressed the need for external oversight alongside with the internal one and appointment of efficient officers to stop corruption within the lone anti-graft watchdog Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

"Formation of an external oversight committee comprising members from the civil society and experts is needed alongside with the internal committee to stop corruption in the ACC," Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) told BSS.

Stressing the need for appointment of efficient officers to deal with the matter effectively, he said, "Bringing transparency and accountability among the officers are urgently needed to stop internal corruption of the ACC."

He also asked for mechanism to deal with the weakness in the ACC in curbing its internal corruption.

"Although there are instances where the Commission assigned another government agency to investigate into corruption allegation against one of its officials in 2011, and based on the investigation, charge-sheet against the officer was submitted, it is not a regular practice," a TIB report said.

However, the ACC has been working to stop internal corruption aimed at ensuring transparency, accountability and dynamism among the officials and staff of the body.

It has formed a committee titled Internal Anti-Corruption Committee headed by its chairman in accordance with section 19 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Commission Rules, 2007 to consistently monitor, supervise, enquire and investigate into any allegation against its staff.

As per the rules, the commission has been entrusted with the task of making recommendations for taking legal and departmental actions against it officers and staff after conducting thorough enquiry into the allegations.

Two officials of the ACC received major punishment last year while four officials got major punishment and two others received minor punishment in 2015 as per the recommendations of the committee, an ACC official told BSS requesting anonymity.

The major punishment includes dismissal from services, forced retirement, and demotion to lower level of salary scale while the minor punishment is withholding of promotion and salary increment for a certain period.

A total of 21 departmental cases have so far been lodged against ACC staff in 2015 as per the available statistics of the commission. ACC disposed of nine cases with giving major punishments to four of its officials and minor punishment to two others. The three other cases have been disposed of by other ways.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)