ACC’s independence limited to paper only: TIB
Independence of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the national anti-graft agency, is limited to paper only, the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has observed.
The anti-graft watchdog was not free of political influence and failed to act neutrally when dealing with corruption, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said.
The TIB presented follow-up of its research on ACC, "Strengthening Anti-graft Organisation", at its Dhanmondi office this morning.
"The commission plays biased roles and does not take equal measures against all," Dr Iftekharuzzaman said quoting experts. "We have hardly seen ACC making significant progress with big cases like that of BASIC bank. In order to keep its dignity intact, it must make the recruitments of chairman and commissioners more transparent," he suggested.
While reading out the research findings, TIB Programme Manager Shammi Laila Islam said, "People have negative opinion about how ACC carries out investigations into multiple allegations of similar magnitude. Even ACC officials have said that people lack confidence in them."
"People believe that the ACC gives importance to petty graft allegations while there is no visible success in catching the major corrupt. There is concern over ACC officials' skills and professionalism as well," she went on.
"The commission usually fails to complete most of investigations in time. There are also allegations that ACC officials take bribe," the report said.
The report further claimed that the investigations carried out by the ACC were below standard and as a result, the rate of success compared to number of cases filed with the graft watchdog was unsatisfactory.
TIB recommended amendment of ACC Act 2004, Money Laundering Prevention Act 2012 and Sarkari Chakri Ain 2018 for empowerment of the national anti-graft watchdog.