Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Iqbal Mahmood has urged engineers of government offices not to bow to the demands of influential quarters when conducting departmental activities.
“Reject their illegal requests. Follow the law in your duty and work fearlessly. Complete your projects on time. We will protect you. This is a guarantee,” the ACC chief said.
The head of the anti-graft watchdog made the comments at a view-exchange meeting with officials of government engineering departments at the ACC headquarters in Dhaka on Tuesday morning.
Various issues were discussed at the meeting, including corruption in the tender process for projects, the use of substandard materials, and the need for action against unscrupulous contractors.
“We don’t want to file cases aganst any officials, so we should solve issues before the problem occurs. If the country is not freed from corruption then we will not remain well,” the ACC chairman said.
“Nobody wants to believe us because of corruption. We want everybody to trust us in all jobs. The engineering departments of the government spent the most money out of the national budget, yet we get many allegations of corruption in the tender process,” he added.
Mohammad Hossain, director general of the Power Cell under the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, conceded that there was corruption in his department.
Calling for the assistance of the ACC, the Power Cell DG said corruption in the department primarily took place during the issuance of new licenses and installation of power line connections, adding that a third party was involved.
Commodore Faruque Hassan, chairman of Mongla Port Authority, said: “Political commitment is the most vital issue for corruption. If we do not have integrity then corruption won’t decrease, so we all have to be honest.”
He also suggested that the ACC be expanded in order to better address corruption across the country.
ACC Commissioner AFM Aminul Islam said: “We often get allegations that a Tk100 crore project is priced at Tk150 crore, with the authorities concerned misappropriating the rest of the money.”
He added that incidents of corruption increase when tenders are submitted.
“We get numerous allegations that syndicates are formed to influence tenders and for officials to loot money in various unscrupulous ways. Avoid all illegal means,” the ACC commissioner said.