The organization appealed for aid and requested to maintain transparency during the whole process
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has requested development partners (DPs) of Bangladesh to provide greater than ever support to the country in its efforts to tackle the Covid-19 crisis and recovery, and to ensure the highest standards of anti-corruption, transparency and accountability at all levels while doing so.
In a statement issued today to the media, TIB said no country in the world was fully prepared nor had the adequate capacity to cope with the global coronavirus pandemic and Bangladesh was not an exception.
Despite the commendable economic performance in GDP growth, along with many other socio-economic indicators, and globally acknowledged disaster management experience, the crisis has exposed Bangladesh to its worst ever challenge in sustaining the progresses achieved in the health sector and beyond.
TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said: “While full consequences of the crisis remain unpredictable to be assessed in concrete terms at this stage, it is clear that Bangladesh will certainly require substantial donor support. Hence we call to our DPs as trusted partners of shared interest, for deeper and wider support to Bangladesh than ever before.”
“We consider the DPs as valued partner in Bangladesh’s compulsions to prevent and control corruption by promoting transparency and accountability. We, therefore, urge them to ensure that anti-corruption principles and practices are specifically maintained in all initiatives or projects at all levels of decisions, designs and implementation,” said TIB.
In management and recovery from mega crises like this, funding decisions and project implementation process may often need to be fast-tracked.
However, nothing justifies any compromise of proactive and on-demand disclosure of information including unrestricted reporting by media and civil society ensuring freedom of opinion, the statement remarked.
“Public procurement, as rushed as it may often be required in crisis situations, must be subjected to transparency and accountability. All kinds of procurement risks, such as collusion, political bias, conflict of interest, and over-pricing, must be prevented by ensuring compliance and accountability without favour or fear,” said Iftekharuzzaman.
“Improved transparency and accountability will boost public trust and credibility of the government as well as donors. Lack of openness will create greater opportunities for abuse of power and discretion as well as collusive corruption and rent-seeking” the executive director added.
“The Covid-19 crisis has overwhelmed the world with unprecedented challenges. At the same time, it also calls attention to all stakeholders to be more vigilant to ensure integrity, in which strategically designed contributions of the DPs can add great value, expects TIB,” the statement said.