Uploading Relief, Aid Info on Website: Half of dist admins ignore govt order | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 AM, July 11, 2020

Uploading Relief, Aid Info on Website: Half of dist admins ignore govt order

A good initiative for transparency disregarded

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

The deputy commissioners of nearly half of the country's 64 districts continue disregarding the government's directive to upload information on allocation and disbursement of relief and financial aid on their respective websites.

The disaster management and relief ministry has long been asking the DCs to publish the information on the district web portals to ensure transparency and accountability. But going through the web portals of all districts until July 7, The Daily Star found only 30 of them have information related to relief allocation and distribution.

Experts say showing such disregard leaves a room for corruption and irregularities to creep into the government's relief distribution activities, already tainted by reports of misappropriation of rice and other aids, meant for distribution among the poor during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This also shows how appropriate government decisions often remain ineffective and public interest is undermined," said Transparency International Bangladesh Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman.

Questions may be raised if those who have not complied with the directive have vested interest in non-disclosure of the information and hence are among beneficiaries of lack of transparency, he told The Daily Star.

Interestingly, some DC portals were found to have uploaded information about donations made by local political leaders and businessmen.

Take Shariatpur district for an example. The government allocated about 2,248 tonnes of rice and Tk 1.49 crore in phases till June 4 for those whose life and livelihoods have been affected by the pandemic.

While making the allocation, the DC was asked to upload information on the website about the amount of relief the district received from the government and about the amount distributed among upazilas. But visiting the portal, this correspondent found no information in this regard.

The site's notice board is flooded with testimonials for local ruling party leaders and businessmen who made contributions during the crisis period.

Earlier, the Local Government Division (LGD) suspended 94 union parishad (UP) chairmen and members for their alleged involvement in misappropriation of rice and other aids meant for distribution among the poor.

Speaking to this correspondent recently, LGD Joint Secretary (UP division) Mustakim Billah Faruqui said they suspended the local government representatives on the basis of reports from local administrations.

According to the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), the government till June 4 allocated to 64 districts about 2.01 lakh tonnes rice and Tk 116.68 crore for providing financial aid and procurement of baby food.

Atiqul Huq, director general of DDM, said they have asked the DCs to publish the relief allocation information on their respective websites to ensure transparency, but many DCs are not complying with the order.

The 30 districts, whose web portals contain information on relief redistribution, were allocated 83,472 tonnes of rice, Tk 38.58 core for financial aid and Tk 11.16 crore for procurement of baby food.

The districts are Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Noakhali, Chandpur, Bogura, Joypurhat, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira, Narail, Chuadanga, Jhenidah, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Moulvibazar, Narayanganj, Kishoreganj, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Panchagarh, Dinajpur, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Kurigram, Sherpur and Jamalpur.

Portals of eight of them -- Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Moulvibazar, Munshiganj, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur and Panchagarh -- contain detailed information on redistribution of relief among upazilas.

Contacted, Rangamati DC AKM Mamunur Rashid said he followed the order accordingly to ensure transparency in relief distribution.

"I've not only published the information on the portal, but also uploaded it on social media from time to time to ensure my accountability to the public," he said.

The DC portals of eight districts -- Cox's Bazar, Sirajganj, Rajshahi, Patuakhali, Barishal, Manikganj, Rajbari and Thakurgaon -- have partial information on relief distribution.

The contributions of private donors are displayed well on the website of Manikganj DC whereas the Rajshahi DC's portal has published a list of beneficiaries who have received Tk 2,500 each as cash assistance from the prime minister.

The relief-related information has not been updated on the DC portals of Rajbari and Thakurgaon after April 25 and March 26 respectively.

These eight districts were allocated 25,849 tonnes of rice and Tk 11.89 crore for financial aid. Another Tk 3.36 crore was allocated to the DCs for purchasing baby food.

However, no relief distribution-related information was found on the DC websites of 26 other districts. They were given 92,098 tonnes of rice and Tk 40.65 crore for providing cash aid. For purchasing baby food, DCs were also given another Tk 11.02 crore.

Asked, Shariatpur DC Kazi Abu Taher on Wednesday said, "The information should be on the website. Have you checked it?"

"If it's not there, it will be uploaded. I'm asking my subordinate colleagues to do it," he added.

The DC's portal was not updated until yesterday afternoon.

Speaking on the issue, TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said this is a clear example of non-compliance to a government directive by such a large a number of government officials, who should be brought to account.

Given the state of digitalisation of such public offices already achieved all over the country, no potential defence in the name of lack of capacity would be acceptable, he said.

State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman on Wednesday said, "I've already directed the ministry secretary to direct the DCs to upload relief information on websites."

He said people need to know what the government allocated for them.

Md Mohsin, secretary of the disaster management ministry, said he would give specific directives to the DCs and divisional commissioners in this regard within a day or two.

"I don't know what is there to hide and why they are not uploading the information. You'll find all information regarding relief within a couple of days." he added.

Despite repeated attempts, this newspaper could not reach State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain over phone for comments.

ax

 

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