Administrative control over ACC only to happy the corrupts
ANTI-GRAFT campaigner Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern and extreme disappointment over the government's decision for making Deputy Commissioners as authorised officers to oversee the Anti-Corruption Commission's work in the districts. The move will undoubtedly restrict the ACC's ability to fight graft and proper investigation into allegations of corruption against government officials, who have become the most corrupt in the recent days. However, the ACC said there had been no such decision.
Quoting media reports, the TIB on Friday 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 in discharging 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. Such a short-sighted, undesirable and self-defeating step will invalidate the legally endowed authority and independence of the ACC.
In an ideal atmosphere, 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 scope and capacity of ACC. The ACC will lose its power and operational flexibility. We earlier observed that the government tried to promulgate provision that ACC must take prior permission to investigate accusation against bureaucrats, which had earned widespread criticism. Steps to curtain the authority of ACC mean that - the bureaucrats are largely exposed to indulge in corruption and interested to take control of all the state- mechanism. Now the corrupt bureaucrats will demand 'clean chit' from ACC to shield from the law.
Despite many odds and obstacles, the ACC is the last resort of the people against corruption. We know, it's apparently toothless and cannot do anything independently. Even so, we do believe the ACC should consult relevant experts to determine the relationship of the Commission with the Administration at both national and local levels in a bid to carry out its jobs independently, confidently and flexibly without conflict of interest.