Law enforcers top corruption list: TIB
Thursday, 19 June 2008

The state of corruption in Bangladesh did not improve last year, according to a report released Wednesday by Transparency International Bangladesh, reports bdnews24.com.

Findings of the National Household Survey 2007 on Corruption in Bangladesh show corruption in education, health, land administration local government and NGO increased in 2007.

TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman said: "Severity of corruption we have seen during the past two governments still exists."

"It is very disappointing."

Law-enforcement agencies and the judiciary were among the sectors witnessing less corruption in 2007 than in 2006, TIB says. But law-enforcement agencies were still on top of the corruption list, according to the report.

A staggering 96.6 percent of households interacting with law enforcement agencies experienced corruption, the report said.

Surveyed households reported bribery as the most prevalent form of corruption indulged by law-enforcement agencies. About 22 percent reported misbehaviour, 10.7 percent threat of torture and 8 percent arrest without warrant, the report said.

On average, one person had to pay Tk 10,927 to avoid arrest and Tk 795 to file a general diary, according to the report.

Muzaffer Ahmad, chairman of the TIB board of trustees, said: "The rate of petty corruption increased after 1/11."

"The report found corruption reduced in some sectors. It also showed many sectors with a higher rate of graft too," he said.

Distribution of bribery was found most prevalent in land administration, according to the report. Officials in the sector received a total of Tk 1,606 crore in bribe in one year. The law enforcement agencies came second with officials taking Tk 879 crore in bribe in one year, according to the report.

The judiciary is the third largest collector of bribe—Tk 671 crore—in one year.

Overall 66.7 percent of households experienced corruption in interactions with different services sectors, the TIB report said.

Bribery and neglect of duty were the two most frequent forms of corruption experienced by the surveyed households, with the two together claiming 76.9 percent of the total.

The survey carried out on 5000 households spotted corruption in six common forms: bribery, neglect of duty, nepotism, embezzlement, deception and extortion.

Of the surveyed households, 25.20 percent interacted with a land office or received services from various outfits within the land administration.

"Among them, 51.01 percent experienced bribery. On average, each of them paid Tk 4,409. The rate of bribe was reportedly highest for allotment of khash land."

The survey shows that 41.7 percent of the households who interacted with the judiciary had to pay bribe for receiving services. Of them, 36.9 percent bribed court officials, 31.1 percent bribed middlemen and 10.7 percent bribed public prosecutors.

Nationally, households paid Tk 5,443 crore in bribe in return for services from different sectors, the report said.

"Bribery claimed 3.84 percent of per capital income last year," it said.

According to the survey, two in five people receiving government health facilities faced harassment.

"Of the service recipients, 33.4 percent paid an average Tk 461 in bribe or speed money."

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