Staff Reporter :
Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Iqbal Mahmood on Sunday underscored the need for taking concerted initiatives by politicians, bureaucrats, civil society, media, intellectuals, NGOs and businesspeople to stamp out corruption from the country.
“Corruption is a governance issue and its controlling process is also very complex. There’s a need for concerted initiatives of politicians, bureaucrats, civil society, media, intellectuals, NGOs, businesspeople, and everyone concerned to root out corruption from the country,” he said.
Iqbal Mahmood made the comments when Consultants of USAID Jonathon Rose and David Timberman, and Governance Advisor Ruhana Amin Orchi met him at the ACC headquarters at noon.
“The current Commission is implementing systematic reform process by reducing the influence of the individual in the institutional capacity and functioning process to protect the capacity and consistency of the Anti-Corruption Commission,” he said.
Even before the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Commission, there was an institution to curb corruption, the ACC chief, adding that its main goal was to ensure a strong anti-corruption culture and its spread in all spheres of the society, mainly by adopting advanced strategies to control corruption.
He said the current Commission has introduced the biggest reform process and a grading system. “No one can begin investigation on a complaint unless the criteria are fulfilled. In the same way, the institutional capacity of the commission has been increased by creating resources recovery, intelligence, armed units, custody and so on.”
Iqbal Mahmood said steps have been taken to train the ACC officials at home and abroad to further enhance their capacity. “The rate of punishment in the commission’s cases has increased to around 70 percent. Had the quality of investigation been of highest quality, the rate of punishment would have been increased to 100 cent percent. Therefore, the commission is conducting multidisciplinary activities to increase its capacity.”
He said the ACC has constituted 28 institutional units to fight bribe and corruption, improve law and order and ensure welfare through systemic reforms of the process of providing government services.
The ACC chairman said many recommendations made by the commission were implemented by the government in different important services, including education and health.
He said the Commission is conducting public hearing to ensure transparency and accountability in government activities at the grassroots level. “Many problems are resolved through the direct contact between service-seekers and government servants.”
Iqbal Mahmood also said the government employees realise that the people are the owners of all power. “This way, people are raising their voice against corruption, irregularities and misuse of power by government officials.”
He also informed the USAID officials of various initiatives taken by the Commission such as establishing honesty stores and formation of fair society to fight corruption.unb