Transfer, Dismissal, and Retirement not Enough to Address Corruption Allegations; TIB Calls for Ensuring Exemplary Punishment

Press Release

Dhaka 01 July 2024: Presenting transfer, dismissal, and compulsory retirement as the maximum punishment for the corrupt public servants is insufficient and can encourage corruption instead. Therefore, the corrupt public servants must be brought to proper trial to ensure exemplary punishment in accordance with legal proceedings, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) called upon the government.

According to media reports, officials from NBR and the police facing corruption allegations have been transferred or compelled into retirement. Describing these administrative actions as 'promising', TIB Executive Director (ED) Dr. Iftekharuzzaman stated, “It has become normalized to limit disciplinary actions such as transfer, dismissal, or compulsory retirement for government employees accused of corruption. However, such measures fall short in effectively ensuring accountability and deterring corruption. Crimes like corruption can spread to other officials and beyond if punishment is limited to transfers alone. Public servants do not have to face the law if they involve in corruption- in fact the widespread acceptance of this idea can further encourage corruption.”

Dr. Zaman pointed out that amendments relaxing provisions in the Government Service (Discipline & Appeal) Rules over time have effectively provided a protective shield. “It is a blatant violation of the Constitution to shield public servants from liability for corruption through mere divisional actions. According to Article 27 of the Constitution, all citizens are equal before the law. Limiting punishment for public servants accused of corruption to measures like transfer, dismissal, or retirement is the indication of discrimination against people of different professions and classes. It also works as the pre-dominant factor for the spread of corruption across various areas within the government sectors through collusion,” he said. Dr. Zaman demanded that officials accused of corruption face investigation and trial through the standard legal processes applied to all citizens.

Citing that there is no way to ignore the political responsibilities regarding the glaring examples of the recent corruption of the pubic servants, Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “While some leaders within the ruling party acknowledge institutionalized corruption, many attempt to shift blame solely onto government employees. However, it can not be denied that high-level corruption often involves political patronage and collusion. The failure to effectively combat corruption is partly due to political leaders’ avoidance of responsibilities for their influence over key institutions. Moving beyond mere rhetoric of a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, political leadership must accept responsibility and enforce genuine measures to root out corruption. This requires a shift from lip service to substantial actions that rebuild public trust and uphold ethical governance standards.”


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