CORRUPTION SCENARIO IN BANGLADESH AND COMBATING STRATEGIES
“To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.”
― G. Edward Griffin
Corruption in Bangladesh is endemic and systemic. It affects all aspects of daily life and has become a feature of ‘how things are done’ for many private businesses, politicians, government officials and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Furthermore, it has permeated many institutions that have a role to play in the fight against corruption, including the police and judiciary.
Bangladesh was ranked by Transparency International (TI) as among the most corrupt countries in the world during 2001-2005. The World Bank Institute’s Control of Corruption Indicator also confirms that Bangladesh is positioned among the most corrupt countries in the world, with sharp increases in corruption between 1996 and 2004. The country’s standing has since improved, mostly as a result of the caretaker government’s pledge to fight corruption in 2007- 08. During this period, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was revitalized and legislative reforms were pursued. On a more positive note, the issues of corruption are now discussed more openly in the country than in previous decades, with the media raising cases of corruption almost on a daily basis.
To discuss the corruption scenario in Bangladesh, likely causes and combating strategies. Corruption Scenario
Corruption is almost an acceptable culture in Bangladesh. It persists at all levels of government and non government machineries. The environment of corruption is discussed in succeeding paragraphs. 5.
Politicization of the Executive and Corruption.
The politicization of the bureaucracy and public institutions whose rules or mandates forbid party affiliation has become partisan. There is evidence that recruitment, promotion, transfer and retirement policies and processes are all influenced by political decisions rather than based on merit and civil service rules and regulations. 6.
Corruption in Public Service Delivery.
Political considerations influence the functioning of all government sectors and hence of service delivery. A particular risk area is corruption in the awarding of public and private tenders. Collusion between political leaders and bureaucrats in public contracting is an ever present risk. 7.
Local Government, Politics and Corruption.
A study undertaken by TIB in 2005 highlighted that, among the elected public representatives, the Union Parishad chairmen were directly involved in 43.5% of reports of incidents of corruption. Besides, the Union Parishad members (27.1%), municipal chairman (11.8%), members of parliament (8.2%), ministers (4.7%), ward commissioners (1.8%) and mayors (1.2%) were directly involved in the reported stories of corruption. 8.
Politicisation of the Judiciary and Corruption.
International and national agencies such as Human Rights Watch have reported on systematic political influence exercised on the enforcement of law and politically motivated uses of lower judiciary (false prosecution and selective bail) for the purpose of intimidating political activists. Corruption in the police force is widespread. In their most recent household survey, TIB found that the majority of households had to pay bribes when lodging first information reports at police stations, when registering general diaries and when requesting clearance certificates. In the absence of any strong accountability mechanisms, incentives are strong for police personnel to continue with corrupt practices. 9.
Business and politics have increasingly become intertwined in Bangladesh. The last two decades saw the growing presence of business elite in the major political parties and in parliament. Political parties actively seek out wealthy businessmen for party nominations. Eventually some of them become leaders of different chambers and other government...
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