There are several ways citizens can file complaints to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). These include the newly introduced hotline, and older methods such as mail, e-mail and drop boxes located in different ACC offices.
The commission formally accepts every complaint submitted to it, but only takes cognizance in matters that fall under its jurisdiction.
The commission forwards complaints that are not under the jurisdiction of the ACC, but are important issues regarding matters of public interest, to ministries, departments and organizations concerned. The ACC also recommends necessary action to resolve these issues.
The ACC also asks those entities concerned to notify the commission about what steps were taken to resolve a reported issue.
A grading system was implemented in 2017 for effective cataloguing of the complaints.
According to commission officials, the number of complaints filed to the ACC in 2017 increased by 38% compared to 2016.
The commission is viewing the spike in complaints as a sign that the organization has further gained the trust of the people. The ACC follows The Anti-Corruption Commission Rules, 2007 for scrutiny of submitted complaints and for taking action against suspects on corruption charges.
To streamline this particular task, the ACC has a “Complaint Scrutiny Cell.”
The complaints are usually sent to the ACC through mail, e-mail, hotline and drop boxes located in district and divisional offices of the commission. The commission formally accepts all complaints bearing the name and address of the sender.
The complaints are then catalogued with dates and serials numbers and sent to the Complaint Scrutiny Cell at the ACC headquarters in Dhaka.
The cell then scrutinizes the complaints, and grades them according to their severity and importance.
Dealing with complaints
According to the commission officials, the commission received 17,953 complaints in 2017, submitted by people from all walks of society.
The ACC hotline- “106”, inaugurated in July 27, 2017, has so far received 5,500,000 calls.
However, 5% percent of those calls actually fell under the commission's jurisdiction, the rest did not. Some of the callers also reported incidents such as road accidents, street brawls and domestic disputes between married couples.
An ACC insider revealed that 15,681 of the 17,953 complaints received in 2017, fell under the jurisdiction of the commission.
Among them, the ACC decided to investigate 937 complaints, and forwarded another 377 complaints to ministries, organizations and departments concerned for further action.
Comparing the data between 2016 and 2017 showed that the commission received 4,963 complaints more in the latter year.
An official concerned from the Complaint Scrutiny Cell told the correspondent: “The ACC began implementing a grading system from scrutinizing submitted complaints since October 22, 2017.
“First, a complaint is documented with its date of submission and a serial number. Then a grade is issued based on a number of factors, such as name and rank of the accused person, location, amount of money involved, submission of any related documents and its impact of the general public.”
Giving more detail, the official continued: “When a complaint is graded between 56 to 74, it is forwarded to organization or department concerned for further action. The commission takes cognizance of complaints that are graded 75 and above, and starts the procedures for the next step.”
Speaking to the correspondent, ACC Deputy Director (Public Relations) Pranab Kumar Bhattacharya said: “More and more people are lodging complaints with the commission, and the number went up after we introduced the hotline.
“This signifies the increasing trust people are placing on the commission. We also take departmental action against the commission officials, if complaints are those officials are proven.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com