The Transparency International Bangladesh has expressed deep concern and disappointment over reports that deputy commissioners are now authorised to oversee the Anti-Corruption Commission’s work in the districts.
It will severely restrict the ACC’s ability to fight graft and properly investigate into allegations of corruption against government officials, a TIB statement said yesterday.
Hours after the TIB statement was issued, the ACC last night said its chairman had asked for the deputy commissioners’ cooperation in fighting corruption during the recently held DC conference.
“The TIB statement is unexpected. We believe that the TIB should verify [the news] before issuing statements,” it said.
The TIB statement, quoting media reports, said, “The decision by the ACC chair announced in the wake of the DCs’ national conference that DCs have been authorised to oversee the ACC’s local level work will create complex overlaps in discharge of entrusted duties by the two authorities.
“If such a decision has indeed been taken, it will create a paralysing impact on the ACC’s work,” he said.
Such a short-sighted, undesirable and self-defeating step will invalidate the legally endowed authority and independence of the ACC, the statement read.
In an ideal world, some degree of collaboration between administration and an anti-corruption body is quite desirable.
“However, if the authority of overseeing the work of the ACC is bestowed upon DCs, it will drastically restrict [the anti-graft body’s] scope and capacity… The ACC will lose its power and operational flexibility.”
The ACC should consult relevant experts to determine relationship of the commission with administration at both national and local levels in a bid to carry out its jobs independently, confidently and flexibly without conflict of interest, it suggested.