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Dhaka Tribune

Rooting out corruption from our passport offices

There are few arms of the government more susceptible to corruption than our passport office

Update : 13 Jan 2023, 11:42 PM

When it comes to our administrative services, there are few arms of the government more susceptible to unchecked corruption than our passport offices -- from online applications that go nowhere to long queues at the physical office, getting a passport is nowhere as easy or smooth a process as it should be.


Which is why it is shocking to absolutely no one that a recent drive carried out by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) at the Agargaon passport office found out just that after they had received allegations of bribery for providing customers with services that should be free, with an added layer of harassment on top.


According to reports, when the ACC officials were talking to customers under the pretense of being an average customer, a number of brokers had approached them with offers to complete their tasks in exchange for money. The ACC also found out how some brokers were working within the passport office without any regards for maintaining queues and orders.


While it is indeed good news that this long-battled problem is finally being investigated by the relevant authorities, it begs us to ask why it took so long for them to dive into this matter.


Our passport is already one of the weakest in the world, and it is disheartening that, when Bangladeshis want to go abroad -- whether for business, education, or just pleasure -- they face so much harassment, so many undue hurdles, and a large part of those hurdles is embedded within the very process of applying for basic passport services.


We hope the ACC's investigation sets a precedent for the passport offices to finally get their act together. The government must make sure that problem elements within our administrative services are reported and promptly rooted out of their posts.

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