On 10th July 2017, the Government of Bangladesh has approved to commemorate the International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) officially on 9th December every year. Proposed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the government’s endorsement is expected to play pivotal role in enhancing public understanding of corruption issues, good governance principles and measures to fight against corruption. The decision also includes Bangladesh in the list of countries officially observing the IACD.
The breakthrough government approval has emerged as a remarkable outcome of last four years’ relentless advocacy led by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) with the Government of Bangladesh including directly with the Prime Minister's Office to persuade them to officially observe the annual IACD. As part of efforts to persuade the government on the significance of official observance of IACD, TIB appraised ACC about its communication with the Government on the IACD issue.
After the release of Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA)studyby TI Bangladesh in July 2016, ACC was further appraised on this and it was proposed that if they took it up directly with the Government the case may be stronger. The ACA Chair responded positively, welcomed TIB’s technical input in preparing the supporting documentation for their submission. The decision of the Cabinet to observe the IACD will be formalized soon through an official gazette notification.
The observance of IACD officially all across the country will add extra agility in the advocacy initiatives and citizens’ engagement in the movement against corruption which eventually will play instrumental role in accomplishing significant progress of attaining goals included in government’s Vision 2021, Seventh Five Year Plan and SDGs.
In a media statement, TIB hailed the Government’s decision to observe the day nationally. TIB’s Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said the government has shown its best intention to hold its promise of curbing corruption in the country. It is consistent with the policies adopted by the government to establish good governance, and will also help in achieving specific anti-corruption indicators as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he observed.
Meanwhile, with the objective of strengthening anti-corruption prevention activities in the country, TIB and ACC on 5th June 2017 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is the extension of the 1stMoU signed in May 2015. The second round of MOU will facilitate collaboration in the areas of research, advocacy, capacity building of anti-corruption advocates and prevention activities.