back

News

Political parties, cops most corrupt

Bangladesh on 10 July 2013
Location : Bangladesh | Source : Daily Star

Sixty percent of Bangladeshi respondents believe the level of corruption in the country has increased in the last two years, while only 26 percent have confidence in government measures to fight graft, shows a Transparency International survey.

Global Corruption Barometer 2012, the biggest worldwide survey on people’s perception and experience about corruption, says 50 percent of Bangladeshis surveyed in 2010 considered the government measures effective in curbing corruption. But the percentage declined to 26 after two years.

According to the survey, political parties and police are the most corrupt institutions followed by the judiciary, parliament and government administration in Bangladesh. Globally, political parties and government administration are the most corrupt institutions.
However, from a global perspective, Bangladesh fares better in nine of the 12 sectors in terms of the level of corruption.
Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) released the survey report on Bangladesh yesterday at a press conference at Brac Centre Inn in the capital.

The survey, which comes out every two years, was also released simultaneously in other countries.
Transparency International, a Berlin-based global civil society group campaigning against corruption, initiated the survey in 2003.
Bangladesh was included in the survey in 2010. This time, the survey was conducted on more than 114,000 people in 107 countries between September 2012 and March 2013.

Sixty percent of Bangladeshi respondents think the level of corruption has increased in the last two years, according to the survey of 1,822 Bangladeshis between February 10 and March 15.

Twenty-six percent of the respondents consider effective government initiatives in curbing corruption, while 32 percent deem those ineffective.
“In comparison with 2010, people’s confidence in government initiatives in fighting corruption has declined, and we have seen its reflection on the recent city corporation elections,” said TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman.

In the past few years, especially the last two, issues of the Padma bridge, Hall-Mark, share market and corruption in railway recruitments had been widely discussed in the public domain and they influenced people’s perceptions, he said.

The TIB executive director said the survey shows corruption is a problem not only for Bangladesh but also for all countries across the globe.
He said there was a background to the public perception of political parties becoming the most corrupt institution in Bangladesh.  “When the survey was conducted, there was political unrest in the country. Many questions were raised about the role of the government and leaders of political parties at that time. This may have reflected on people’s opinion,” he said.

The survey makes an interesting point. According to the final consideration of Bangladeshi respondents, it is the government that holds the authority to curb corruption.  Local public representatives are the first choice of the respondents for informing about any corruption incident with more than 31 percent of them subscribing to this view. 

The survey also comes up with an optimistic finding that all Bangladeshi respondents want to be involved in any form of activities to fight corruption, while 92 percent of them believe that ordinary people can make a difference in combating corruption.
It says military and religious organisations in Bangladesh are the least corrupt institutions. Thirty-two percent of the respondents chose these institutions.

Ninety-three percent of the respondents believe political parties and police are the most corrupt public service institutions followed by the judiciary, parliament, and government administration.

Queried as to what types of corruption political parties indulge in, Iftekhar said the survey didn’t cover it, but people thought there was corruption in political parties. 

The definition of corruption is not confined to only the exchange of bribes. Misuse of power is also corruption and people’s expectations remain unfulfilled because of it, he said.

Replying to a reporter’s query whether the survey was aimed at encouraging depoliticisation, he said the survey’s aim was to make the political arena more effective, powerful, pro-people and corruption-free. 

“It is the political leaders who are behind all democratic achievements and socio-economic progress of the country. We only want political parties to take people’s perception into consideration and bring reform to their parties,” he said.

When a journalist wanted to know who in the judiciary were involved in corruption, Iftekhar said TIB’s policy doesn’t allow making any comments on individuals. It only wanted to point out how people suffer in getting service from the judiciary due to corruption.

The survey says 55 percent of the respondents consider graft in government sectors as a very serious problem, while 64 percent deem corruption in the police a matter of concern.

Ninety percent of the respondents perceive that the government is influenced by particular quarters like activists and supporters of political parties and a special section of businessmen.

Bangladesh ranks second in the list with regard to victims of petty corruption in key public service sectors. India tops the list while the Maldives lies at its bottom, shows the survey.

According to the findings, 72 percent of the respondents label police as the key bribe collector while 63 percent of them gave the judiciary the second position followed by land service (44 percent), licence and permit service (33 percent), health and medical service (16 percent), education sector (12 percent), utilities (10 percent), and tax (8 percent).

The positive aspect is that the percentage of bribery declined in all these sectors in the last two years with significant progress in the education sector.  

A large number of respondents think that giving bribes is the only way to get services while 33 percent of them do that for speeding up things.
TIB recommended finding out immediately the sectors where the graft level is high and taking urgent measures to curb corruption. Besides, it suggested ensuring transparency and accountability of these institutions with an increased participation of general people.
It also stressed the need for making the Anti-Corruption Commission effective and implementing the Right to Information 2009 Act in all government and non-government institutions.

Rafiqul Hasan, director of research and policy department of TIB, and Shahnur Rahman, programme manager, presented the findings.  TIB Deputy Executive Director Sumaiya Khayer was present at the press conference.

Post Comment
Name
Email
Comment
0 comment(s)
No Comment added yet.

join the network

Sign Up to our Newsletter

To subscribe to our quarterly newsletter simply add your email.