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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Local democracy needs better governance

Update : 18 Apr 2014, 08:06 PM

A Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)  study reports that nearly half of all cooperative societies in Bangladesh (47%) are ineffective or being mismanaged.

Members of cooperatives are regularly being cheated or overcharged for registration fees and interest on loans. Management committee members are often being found to be abusing their positions, and there is a lack of effective oversight in making sure that these organisations are run according to the law. 

The concentration of power in small groups of locally influential and politically connected persons is identified by TIB as a major factor in encouraging such poor governance.

Steps must be taken to prevent the massive waste of resources and corruption, which is enabled by the prevalence of bad governance and corruption within grassroots and locally based organisations.

This is in part institutionalised by procedures giving MPs and local council leaders excessive influence over development projects. Administrators are frequently recruited for political connections and studies note high levels of use of public funds being used for personal benefit or gain, even to the extent of incidents of illegal occupancy of council property by council members.

If run effectively, local government can play a key role in the economic development of the country. However, this will be hindered if the seriously poor state of accountability and management at local government level is not improved.

The government must improve local governance by strengthening anti-corruption measures and improving accountability so that officials who abuse their position can be more easily replaced.

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