As part of its graft prevention activities, the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) for the first time is going to hold public hearings on graft allegations at Muktagacha upazila in Mymensingh, aiming to making public servants accountable to people and thus check the growing graft at the grassroots level.
“We (Commission) have already decided to hold public hearings for two days at Muktagacha upazila. All are set to hold the hearings on December 28-29 next,” ACC commissioner Dr Nasiruddin Ahmed told yesterday.
As per complaints from local people, hearings on the alleged grafts of upazila sub-registrar office, land office and Palli Biduyut office will be held on December 28 while hearings on alleged irregularities of upazila health complex and primary education office on December 29.
Nasiruddin said the national anti-graft body has already informed the local authorities concerned to be present at the public hearings.
The ACC with its own fund will begin public hearings in Gopalganj, Madaripur, Mymensingh, Comilla and Rangpur initially and then elsewhere in the country.
The public herrings will be held in five districts as a pilot program. Hospitals, police stations and land offices at upazila level will be brought under the program.
Official sources said people are often compelled to bribe local government offices to avail of designated public services. So, the ACC has decided to hold public hearings at upazila level so that victims can come up with their allegations.
If local people have any graft allegation against government officials, they will be able to raise those during the public hearings.
The ACC will allow the accused officials a chance to defend themselves and settle the allegations. If the allegations remain unresolved, the commission will recommend the authorities concerned to take departmental actions against the accused.
I will inform the accused government officials with at least 15 days’ time, asking them to be present before the scheduled hearing, said sources at the Commission.
In April 2014, the ACC wrote to the cabinet, seeking permission to introduce the public hearing program.
In response to the letter, the district magistrate policy section of the Cabinet Division issued a circular on June 5 this year, directing the authorities concerned to help the ACC hold public hearings at local level on graft allegations.
After getting approval from the cabinet division, the ACC started talks with the Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) to get support from it in arranging the public hearings as the TIB has the organizational activities and manpower across the country.
ACC commissioner Dr Nasiruddin said the ACC is now getting support from the TIB to hold the public hearings as both organizations work for the prevention of corruption in the country.
ACC to hold public hearing on graft allegation Dec 28-29