Tuesday, March 19, 2019 | ePaper

Free the nation from corruption

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THE Anti-Corruption Commission has identified 33 sources by which officials of the Comptroller General of Accounts are doing corruption. The CGA officials realized unethical financial benefits by creating obstacles in releasing fund for the development projects and misappropriation of public funds by submitting fake pension and travel bills. Even the CGA officials have taken bribes from the retired primary school teachers and other employees while clearing the payment of gratuity and general provident fund.
The CGA also took bribes from the employees, whose jobs were transferred from development budget to revenue budget, and did not submit pre-audit objections to suspicious purchase deals in exchange of cash. The ACC's investigation to flush out the corruption inside government offices deserves appreciation.
On March 3, the ACC submitted similar findings about the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and also to the National Board of Revenue and Directorate of Health in 2018. The ACC, however, has given 21 recommendations to root out the corruption in the CGA offices. The recommendations include reduction of time for settling pension cases to 5-7 days from the present average duration of 10 days. In 2012, a TIB study found 23 instances of corruption at the CGA office and recommended to take effective measures. But nothing was done.
The TIB in 2018 marked the law enforcement agencies as the most corrupt where the ACC has not been investigated. Besides, Department of Immigration and Passport, BRTA, Judicial services, Taxes and VAT department were marked as the most corrupts.
We see corruption has taken the deep root into the society for political support, impunity, lack of implementation of law and accountability. The ACC, designated to check corruption, has got a little success to check the corruption. ACC officials must be more sincere and serious in investigating corruption cases. The big corruptions should get top priority.

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