Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) calls upon Bangladesh’s Development Partners (DPs) to ensure greater than ever support to the country in its efforts to the Covid-19 crisis and recovery, and at the same time to ensure the highest standards of anti-corruption, transparency and accountability at all levels.
Need for more robust support than ever
In a statement issued on 26 April to the media, TIB says, no country of the world was fully prepared nor had the perfect capacity to cope with the Covid-19 global pandemic. Bangladesh could not be any exception. Inspite of commendable economic performance in GDP growth and many other socio-economic indicators as well as globally acknowledged disaster management experience, the crisis has exposed Bangladesh to worst ever challenges of sustaining the progresses achieved in the health sector and beyond.
Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “while full consequences of the crisis remain unpredictable to be assessed in concrete terms at this stage, it is clear that Bangladesh will certainly require substantial donor support. Hence our call to DPs as trusted partners of shared interest, for deeper and wider support to Bangladesh than ever before”.
More transparency, more accountability
“We also consider DPs as valued partner in Bangladesh’s compulsions to prevent and control corruption by promoting transparency and accountability. We, therefore, urge upon them to ensure that anti-corruption principles and practices are specifically ensured in all initiatives or projects at all levels of decisions, designs and implementation”, TIB said.
In management and recovery from mega crises like this, funding decisions and project implementation process may often genuinely need to be fast-tracked. However, nothing justifies any compromise of proactive and on-demand disclosure of information including unrestricted reporting by media and civil society including freedom of opinion, the statement added.
“Public procurement, as rushed as it may often require to be in crisis situations, must be subjected to transparency and accountability. All kinds of procurement risks like collusion, political bias, conflict of interest and over-pricing must be prevented by ensuring compliance and accountability without favour or fear.Improved transparency and accountability will boost public trust and credibility of the government as well as donors. Lack of openness will create greater opportunities for abuse of power and discretion as well as collusive corruption and rent-seeking” the executive director said.
“The Covid-19 crisis has overwhelmed the world by unprecedented challenges. At the same time, it also calls attention of all stakeholders to be more vigilant to ensure integrity, in which strategically designed contributions of DPs can add great value, expects TIB”, the statement said.