BTTB staff knew how to share bribes
Officials of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) nakedly get Tk 15,000 to Tk 1.5 lakh each every month as a share of collective illegal income, says the Truth and Accountability Commission (Tac).
These top-to-bottom level officials of BTCL, former BTTB, are committing gross corruption for long, causing a huge loss to the government exchequer every year.
Whenever a committee was formed to look into corruption and take departmental action, the issue was suppressed in course of time, as the investigators themselves were involved. Moreover, whenever the authorities were forced to take action, lower-level officials were made the scapegoat.
Tac Chairman Justice Habibur Rahman Khan yesterday said these as an example of how corruption is deeply rooted in the government institutions.
"The country's administration is not functioning properly and the entire system should be changed," said Justice Habibur during a regular press briefing at Tac headquarters in the capital.
"Governance will improve automatically and the people would be benefited if institutional corruption is eliminated," he said, adding the institutions working against corruption must be more effective.
"If the institutions working to curb corruption work with sincerity more graft incidents would be unearthed," said Maj Gen (retd) Manzur Rashid, member of the commission. He claims that Tac has achieved mentionable progresses to learn the nature of institutional corruption within a short period.
The commission identified the nature of graft in BTCL following confessions by four deputy director-level graft-accused. The four faced Tac through the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which had earlier filed a case against seven BTCL officials involving around Tk 12 crore graft.
The Tac however decided not to award clemency to the four and will return their file to ACC for further investigation.
Following their confessions Tac also heard some top-level BTCL officials, who denied their involvement in corruption.
The commission identified the means of corruption in BTCL like fake budget allocation and making fake bills. Earlier on October 22, it revealed that BTTB had showed 'deployment' of 256 labourers on papers only to transfer files in an almirah.
Similarly, ACC on October 20 published a graft incident by BTCL officials in Khulna where they had 'deployed' 122 labourers to install a pan in a toilet.
Like BTCL, officials from BRTA, Roads & Highways, sub-registrar offices, Titas Gas, Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), Petrobangla, National Housing Authority, BIWTA, Chittagong and Sylhet city corporations, public works, and two former deputy secretaries also disclosed stunning information about corruption.
The Tac would mention its findings in a final report to be submitted on completion of its tenure. It would also recommend regular monitoring and supervising of the government institutions and strengthening the audit department to curb institutional corruption.
As many as 389 people have so far applied for voluntary disclosures to the commission, which completed hearing 259 of them who admitted to having ill-gotten wealth worth about only Tk 27.79 crore.
Of the amount, Tk 14.46 crore was deposited to the state exchequer as of yesterday, while the rest awaits release by ACC and NBR, which have the bank accounts of the graft-accused frozen.
Of the applicants, 192 applied through ACC, 167 through NCC, 10 through the courts and 20 voluntarily.