Time to step up fight against corruption

Punish crooked officials. As a society, we cannot afford to see corruption as a necessary evil
A new Transparency International report shows that corruption present in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General has become deep-seated and commonplace.

It is a matter of great concern that the very office in charge of keeping an eye on how government money is spent should be so riddled by corruption.

There is widespread evidence of under-the-table payments being sought by and made to officials in the auditor general’s office in return for favours.

Gross corruption and malpractice at such a key level reflects the very poor state of governance in the country. Rampant bribe-taking has compromised our bureaucracy at every level of operations, from hiring personnel to granting services.

The public depends on the government to ensure that independent bodies like the CAG and ACC are able to operate to the highest ethical standards in investigating and holding lawbreakers to account.

Corruption corrodes public life and has a disastrous effect on the national economy by making it harder for responsible businesses to operate.

As a society, we cannot afford to see corruption as a necessary evil. Exemplary punishment must be doled out to crooked officials, and those who can expose punishment from inside these institutions should be rewarded.

The government must act on, not downplay, the concerns noted by the report. Our civil society must also stay vigilant against abuses of power, and expose corruption where they see it instead of participating and perpetuating the vicious cycle.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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