Inefficiency of an institution of accountability

Published: 00:00, Nov 28,2019 | Updated: 23:15, Nov 27,2019


THE Anti-Corruption Commission chair expressing disappointment at the poor performance of the commission officials in that they fail to apply to work the knowledge and techniques that they acquire from training is further disappointing. The commission’s chair, at the inauguration of a training programme with 40 officials of the ranks of commissioner, director and deputy director attending, says that training should add to the capacity of the officials but it has not happened. The commission’s chair further says that if the officials, many of whom are trained at home and abroad, fail to apply their theoretical and practical knowledge to resolve cases, the training and the money spent on the training carry no meaning. The chair has also asked the commission officials to fully know of the laws and regulations of public procurement so that no one is harassed for the lack of knowledge of the officials. While this holds true, this also suggests that there may have been officials in the commission without having the knowledge required to deal with corruption cases.

The commission’s chair has also sounded a warning for the officials against the abuse of power, saying that laws are equally applicable to all. Without all this, the transparency and accountability of the commission, which itself is an institution of accountability, could not be ensured, which in turn would result in a waning public confidence in the institution. Ranking commission officials at a discussion marking the institution’s 15th founding anniversary in the past week said that the commission fails to prove at least 30 per cent of the cases in trial stages for lack of efficiency of its officials. While the ranking officials admit to poor efficiency of officials in general, which might have eroded public confidence, what may have compounded the issue is that the commission has largely not lifted its finger to stop large-scale corruptions although such issues have continued to make the headlines one after another. Some of the commission’s officials are also reported to have been almost regularly punished, to varying extent by the commission on charge of their involvement in corruption and irregularities. The introspection that the commission chair and other officials have so far done, in the anniversary programme in the past week and at the opening of the training programme on Tuesday, appears to be heartening.

All this, the introspection included, should serve as a wake-up call for the commission. It must put in the required efforts to increase the efficiency of the officials and to ensure the integrity of the officials to steer clear of anything negative that could harm the commission and its work.

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