“DCs authorized to oversee work of ACC at local levels”
TIB deeply disappointed and concerned; calls for revoking any such decision
Dhaka, 19 July 2019. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern and disappointment that the Deputy Commissioners have been authorized by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) to oversee its local level work. This will severely restrict the ACC’s capacity to control corruption in general and conduct proper investigations into allegations of corruption of local level public officials and staff, says TIB. It called for revoking any such decision which will be unwise and self-defeating.
In a statement issued today Iftekharuzzaman, Executive Director of TIB said, “the decision by the ACC Chair announced in the wake of the DCs’ national conference that DCs have been authorized to oversee ACC’s local level work, as reported by credible media on 18 July 2019, will create complex overlaps in discharge of entrusted duties by the two authorities. If such a decision has indeed been taken, it will create paralyzing impact on ACC’s work through immoral influence and conflict of interest driven and corruption protecting manipulations. Such a shortsighted, undesirable and self-defeating step will invalidate the legally endowed authority and independence of ACC, which it must stay away from.”
Executive Director of TIB said, “the ACC Chair has reasonably called upon the DCs to report to ACC any irresponsibility or corrupt activity by ACC staff which is part of the regular duty and authority of anyone including pubic officials. In an ideal world some degree of collaboration between administration and an anti-corruption body is also quite desirable. However, if the authority of overseeing the work of ACC is bestowed upon DCs, it will drastically restrict the scope and capacity of ACC to investigate allegations of corruption at local level. ACC will lose its power and operational flexibility.
Executive Director of TIB raised the question, “if that is going to happen at the local level would it not also be justified soon to ask whether ACC is ready to render itself under the oversight of the national level administration? What then will be the value and justification of a specialized body to control corruption called ACC?”
TIB suggests that instead of such an emotionally-driven and shortsighted approach ACC would do better to its purpose by consulting relevant experts and determine the parameters and contours of mutual relationship of the commission with administration at both national and local level so that it is free from overlap and conflict of interest, and above all ensures the independence, confidence and operational flexibility of ACC as provided by the law.
Mohammad Tauhidul Islam
Senior Programme Manager, Outreach and Communication