Looking Ahead

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Despite challenges that the Anti Corruption Commission is confronted with in combating corruption, it has some noteworthy success stories acclaimed in the year 2013. Some of these successes are testimony to the enormous possibility of ACC in the years ahead. However, several weaknesses of the ACC have been identified that apparently limited the power of body to effectively combat corruption. The following measures may be considered to ensure proper functioning of the Commission:

Legal Reform

The Anti Corruption Commission in different parts of the world is a constitutional body. However, in the case of Bangladesh, there is no such provision in the Constitution delineating the power of the Anti Corruption Commission as seen, inter alia, in the case of Election Commission and other constitutional bodies. Therefore, the Constitution of Bangladesh can have in it clearly delineated the powers and activities of the Commission.

Prompt disposal of cases

The commission does not have offices all over Bangladesh. At present, there are 22 integrated district offices of the commission across the country. For purpose of cases, manpower from one district often visits neighboring districts where there is no office of the Commission. For speedy disposal of cases, office of the ACC needs to be set up in all 64 districts of the country. Past experience reveals that the ACC often cannot prove many of the cases it files owing to poor reporting and charge sheets resulting from the lack of cooperation, apathy and incapacity of other government institutions and divisions. Without a mechanism for exchange of information between and among these government organizations, it is not possible to validate many of the cases. Therefore, in order to instigate a culture of cooperation within the government agencies and organizations, appropriate legislation, in harmony with national laws and international good practices, needs to been acted.

Strengthening prevention and awareness

The Corruption Prevention Committees (CPCs) formed at the district level has no legal status. To make these committees fully operational to fight corruption at the grassroots, a must for orchestrating social movement against corruption, they must be provided with minimum budget. In addition, the main budget must have explicit provision for CPCs. The 'integrity units', are loosely organized bodies and have been barely functional except providing random participants to the national events that those committees orchestrate. They can be more instrumental in forging social resistance against corruption only if they are activated by regular stimulus and proper monitoring.

Efficiency

In order to enhance efficiency of the Commission, the need for collaboration and partnership with national and international organizations is indispensable. The government should not strangle the freedom of the ACC by proposing that it cannot sign any agreement, receive assistance or loan without permission of the government.

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