Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (স্বাধীন দুর্নীতি দমন কমিশন)
Introduction: Corruption has become an enduring pattern in our public life. At present corruption is rampant in basic services, like healthcare, education, police, judiciary, land administration, taxation, and power. It also affects the government, business community, political system, NGOs, financial sectors, etc.
It is practically posing a threat to our democratic process. It is obstructing the operation of market forces, creates bottlenecks in the administrative system, prevents justice and fairness, discourages the spirit of public services, and impedes sustainable development. Multilateral donor agencies such as World Bank and UNDP estimate that 30 to 40 percent of the development fund of Bangladesh is misappropriated by corrupt means.
In fact, corruption has become synonymous with misgovernance in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has been rated by Transparency International as the most corrupt country in the world. The surveys of the World Bank, TIB, and other surveys show how much acute is corruption in government, semi-government and non-government offices, education sectors, financial sectors, and socio-economic organizations.
Prospects of Anti-Corruption Commission: When political leaders and officials engage in bribery and graft, they are accountable to an impartial judiciary called the anti-corruption commission. With this in view the government of Bangladesh formulated an independent Anti-Corruption Commission in the month of November 2004 and the commission has started its office.
This is unfortunate that even the donor agencies have clearly stated that it is not a lack of resources, it is rather the weakness of institutions that is responsible for the slow growth of Bangladesh's economy. So long as politicization continues the government will never be able to build up any strong institution. Politicisation has already made the weak and inefficient bureaucracy almost non-functional.
In a branded corrupt country like Bangladesh, how can we expect that a Commission consisting of three members and headed by a retired high court judge will be able to handle the tremendous task of controlling corruption in Bangladesh? It is difficult for us to believe that the Commission can take strong decisions unpleasant to corrupt people.
The Commission declares that it would be able to bring significant improvement in the country's corruption situation within a stipulated period. It has, however, not disclosed the strategy it desires to adopt to perform this extremely challenging task. It has, however, admitted that it would not be possible for it to root out corruption totally from the country though it can be reduced to a great extent.
Conclusion: We do not know the extent of satisfaction of the donor agencies in the establishment of the Commission. It depends on the quality of performance of the Commission. Despite defects and deficiencies in the Commission, we should not be totally disappointed if all concerned fully support the Commission and allow it to work smoothly, coolly, and courageously so that it is not regarded as a poor substitute for the defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAC). Let the commission work independently to exercise its accountability to the democratic parliament as well as the constitution.