Corruption had existed in human society from the beginning of civilisation, which is prevalent even more currently. The conflict between limitless demands and greed of men coupled with their reality of remaining within
- limited means has in reality
- given rise to corruption.
- Statements against corruption can be seen in many religious texts.
The Holy Quran, Bible, Vedas extensively mention the vices and results of corruption. Penalties for corruptive offences have been included in the Penal Code for Bangladesh and the sub-continent during the imperialist period too. The Anti-Corruption Commission was set up in 1957 with the objective of setting up a separate organisation to prevent corruption. Corruption prevention activities were conducted by taking punitive measures against corruption under the Act. With time it became clear to all that however strong laws are passed, without increasing mass awareness against this and creating a mindset among the public servants against corruption, it would never be possible to eradicate corruption completely. Realizing this reality, it was felt that there was a need to carry out corruption prevention measures alongside corruption control activities.
However, with the changes in type and manner of corruption and with the objective of organising anti-corruption activities, the independent and non-partisan Anti-Corruption Commission started its journey on 21st November, 2004 by virtue of the Anti-Corruption Act.
1.0 Presenting the structure, activities and description of Prevention, Research and Mass Awareness Section.
A team of 36 officials and staff including 2 Directors and 3 Deputy Directors under the supervision of a Director General in the Prevention, Research and Mass Awareness Section are working together tirelessly to carry out the responsibility of implementing the preventive functions. Moreover, the officials and staffs in the divisional and Integrated District Offices are also continuing the preventive activities with commitment. According to Section 17 of the Anti-Corruption Act, 2004, out of the 11 clear functions of the Commission, the realm of six tasks are singly within the purview of preventive activities, which are as follows:
1. Present recommendation for review and effective implementation of accepted measures within any law for corruption prevention;
2. Create research plans on corruption prevention and present recommendation on what needs to be done according to the results from the research;
3. Create honesty and commitment with the aim of preventing corruption and undertake measures to create mass awareness against corruption;
4. Arrange seminar, symposium and workshop on issues that fall within the realm of the commission’s tasks and responsibilities;
5. Identify the sources of corruption prevalent in Bangladesh in the background of socio-economic condition and present recommendation on taking necessary measures accordingly;
6. Completing other tasks considered important for preventing corruption.
2. The objective of creating mass awareness against corruption includes:
1. The mass-movement that will be created by the aware public against corruption will be organised within the preview of the existing laws.
2. The public will consider themselves as the protector of the country and the nation’s resources and become aware of their rights.
3. The law abiding public, aware of their rights will participate in a continuing and active prevention endeavour against corruption.
4. Create an idea of mass participation in preventing corruption.
3. The following work-strategy had to be undertaken in order to create mass-awareness in preventing corruption:
1. Mobile film shows
4. Mass gathering or sharing meeting on the basis of profession, age and gender
5. Mass music programmes
6. Message publicity, street publicity, road meetings
7. Organising weekly/bi-weekly/yearly programmes
8. Publishing anti-corruption slogan/statements
9. Use of bill-boards
11. Plays – a) Street Play, (b) Stage Play
12. Recitation programme/competition
13. Debate competition
14. Essay competition
15. Essay on corruption-prevention in exam-papers in Madrasha/school/college
16. Acting – one-acts/mime
17. Art competition
18. Organising Fair (Anti-Corruption organisations)
19. Interpersonal communication and opinion sharing with guardians/teachers/students/professionals
20. Various survey against corruption
21. Publication of journals/circulars in the print media
22. Use of electonic media (talk show etc.)
23. Creating public opinion through publicity booklets
24. Taking help of various government organisations in preventive activities (Youth Development, Children’s Academy, Islamic Foundation, Co-Operative Department, Primary Education Department, Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Department, Family Planning Department, PID, DFP, PIB)
25. Documentary films in movie houses
26. Courtyard meetings
27. Weekly/monthly public opinion report
28. Documentaries in movie halls (Short – length, VCD etc.)
29. Monthly, tri-monthly publications
30. Project programme for corruption prevention
31. Associating Imams/religious leaders in corruption prevention
32. Expediting education-institution based activities of Integrity Units in schools, colleges, Madrashas and universities.
33. Through SMS publicity
34. Including corruption prevention issues in education
35. Research on social issues to identify sources of corruption
36. Formulating recommendations for review of anomalies in existing laws
4. Various preventive activities completed and ongoing from 4th January 2011 to October 2012.
a. The officials and staffs of the Research, Prevention and Mass Awareness Section of the Anti-Corruption Commission are performing the responsibilities and duties entrusted upon it by the Commission with commitment. Anti-Corruption committees have already been organised in 62 districts, 427 sub-districts, 8 regional metropolitans and one metropolitan. Integrity units have been created in about 12000 schools, colleges, Madrashas and other educational institutions.
b. This Prevention Section of the Commission has been implementing multi-dimensional preventive and mass awareness campaigns from January 2011 to October 2012 through various national and international agencies and own district and sub-district preventive committees which are mentioned below.
c. This year the Anti-Corruption Week 2012 started through the placing of wreaths at the Martyr’s Memorial, Savar following this, anti-corruption poster-drawing competition, anti-corruption rally, releasing of commission newsletter ‘Dudak Darpan’, pre-Jummah sermons in the mosque and a gathering of ‘integrity unit’ at the Osmani Memorial marked the week-long celebrations. Various functions were also organised in 62 districts, 1 Metropolitan, 8 regional metropolitans, by 427 upazilla Anti-corruption committees and 12000 members of the Integrity Unit across the country to celebrate Anti-Corruption Week, 2012.
d. A round table conference on Right to Information Act was organised by ACC at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel, Dhaka on 13th August with USAID, PROGOTI and MRDI assistance.
e. A round table conference on Role of Information and communication technology in combating corruption was organised at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel on 4th September 2012.
f. The work of the ACC web site is on-going. It is hoped that the Honourable Chairman will be able to inaugurate it by the end of December.
g. This is the first time that the ACC is celebrating its birth Anniversary on November 21.
h. The Interpol has expressed interest for the first time to provide training to the ACC officials. Three of them have already received training.
i. The possibility of receiving membership of International Association for Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) is in its final stage. We will very soon gain pride of becoming member of this international organisation.
j. An initiative to distribute prizes to winners of an essay competition to celebrate Anti-Corruption Day on 19th December was taken with financial assistance of GIZ. Moreover, Anti-corruption musical programme to raise mass awareness was added newly to the programme. The idea was to make people aware against corruption. An anti-corruption poster competition will be organised next year on the eve of the International Anti-Corruption Day too. The winning poster will be awarded Tk. 100,000 with financial assistance from GIZ.
k. Identity cards have been issued to all the chairperson and editors of the Anti-Corruption Committee of all the districts of the country, distribution of which is currently under process.
l. Flags of the Anti-Corruption Commission have been designed and distributed centrally to all the districts offices of the country in order to maintain the autonomous identity of the district offices.
m. The idea of bringing more speed to the activities of the Integrity Units is ongoing.
n. The possibility of including various anti-corruption activities in the expenditure list of the provision of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) on a priority basis is under consideration.
o. Various ways for receiving the active co-operation of the field administration in the anti-corruption programmes is being discussed.
Future Action Plan:
5. The Preventive programmes need to be further strengthened to engage teachers students and the common people.
1. Celebrating Anti-Corruption Week in the school, college and university-level; strengthening the organisation of rally, seminars, meetings, debate-competitions and plays.
2. Organising discussions on anti-corruption in guardians’ meetings in educational institutions.
3. The possibility of including an essay in the text books of primary, secondary and higher secondary levels are being considered.
4. Undertaking measures to decide on an anti-corruptive oath statement at the school level and ensuring its regular recitation in order to create an anti-corruptive mindset in children from childhood.
5. The influence of cartoons is extensive among children. The Meena cartoon has had a wide-spread effect in the minds of children. So, take measures to prepare and also arrange for publicizing cartoons against corruption on the initiative of ACC.
6. Almost 70% of people in Bangladesh live in the village. As a result associate the district offices in organising street plays and road shows in the market place depicting anti-corruption themes.
7. Continue the practice of enlightening people on the vices and penalties associated with corruption in the religious centres before prayers or in the light of religions texts. Supply books on anti-corruption so that the religious leaders make the common people aware of the same in the light of the Quran in various religious sermons or milads, and if required continue the organisation of workshops and seminars.
8. Print anti-corruptive messages and arrange to be stuck on stickers in public transport system like bus, truck, rickshaw, auto-rickshaws as well as various shopping malls.
9. Arrange for putting up bill-boards at important road-sections depicting anti-corruption slogans.
10. Construct songs, plays and advertisements depicting messages on anti-corruption suitable for people of all strata and profession and arrange for regular publicity in print and electronic media.
11. The possibility of engaging any individual as a Goodwill Ambassador by ACC every year who is established as an honest person in the society or one who has not indulged in corruption even after receiving the opportunity for it, is being considered.
12. Organize quiz competitions in various educational institutions and take measures to make arrangements for giving away prizes like rulers, pens, pen-stands, greeting cards, T-shirts etc. bearing messages preventing corruption.
13. The effect of social networking sites like twitter and Facebook is quite strong on the current generation in the world. These can be a good platform for anti-corruption campaigns. Efforts can be made to create anti-corruption facebook groups and encourage all to write against corruption in various blogs and sites.
14. Take measures to post corruption-preventive audio-video messages in the under-construction website of ACC; at the same time try to include motivational expert opinions in order to increase awareness.
15. Anti-Corruption SMS, audio messages need to be regularly sent to the cell-phones of all the subscribers. Moreover, efforts can be taken to disseminate various information and ways to prevent corruption by using the community radio through cell-phones.
16. There is the mention of the creation of an “Ethics Committee” in the government offices in the “National Integrity Strategy”. Hence an initiative can be taken to set up an “Ethics committee”.
1. Recommend measures for giving awards to honest and committed government officials and staffs.
2. Ensure transparency and honesty of government officials and staffs and take measures to organise trainings to create anti-corruptive mindset with the objective of enhancing accountability.
3. Take initiatives to socially boycott doubtful corruptive officials.
4. Recommend maximum use of digital techonology in government offices.
5. Bring the banks, insurance offices as well as financial organisations under stricter monitoring. Recommend stronger monitoring on the issue of accepting co-lateral in banks.
6. Uniforms can be introduced for the members of the Integrity Units like the Boys’ Scouts.
7. Respected ladies and gentlemen, we would request you to supervise the activities of the Integrity Units when you go to your homes. Share opinions with the members of the prevention committee. This will motivate them.