Friday, 1 July, 2022

Lack of integrity a barrier to ensuring quality services

Integrity is a must in the state and private institutions to ensure good governance and quality services to the country’s people, said experts.

The experts also emphasized building awareness among the country’s people about integrity.

The government has formulated the National Integrity Strategy (NIS) to ensure accountability, efficiency, transparency, and effectiveness of state and non-state institutions in a sustained manner.

“The NIS is very important. It has been introduced to implement in both state and non-state institutions like business houses and mass media to ensure uninterrupted services and improve the quality of services,” former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder told the Daily Sun.

According to the cabinet division, through a process of wide-ranging stakeholder consultations, the government approved the National Integrity Strategy (NIS) in October 2012.

The NIS has a comprehensive set of goals, strategies and action plans aimed at increasing the level of independence, accountability, efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of the state and non-state institutions to improve governance and reduce corruption in a holistic manner.

To ensure accountability and transparency in government institutions, the Cabinet Division is implementing some social accountability tools like the Citizens' Charter, Grievance Redress System (GRS) and Right to Information (RTI) to contribute effectively to implementing the NIS program.

The experts said the NIS aims to unite Bangladeshi society to achieve the integrity of the nation by enhancing awareness of government institutions as well as of the entire nation; The NIS targets various stakeholders and the public administration has a leading role in NIS implementation.

They also emphasized making people aware of the NIS to realize their rights and services.           Md Abdul Jalil, Senior Deputy Principal Information Officer at the Press Information Department (PID), said the media can sensitize the citizen about their rights with the emphasis on the Right to Information, Citizens' Charter, and Grievance Redress System of the government.

“Different tools of the NIS like Citizen Charter and Right to Information Act have been introduced in government offices. If these tools are implemented properly then people will get quality services,” Ali Imam Majumder said. 

The cabinet division sources said the NIS tools are being implemented across the country in a bid to provide improved services to the country’s people with maintaining transparency and accountability and being corruption-free from the central to the grassroots level.

“In our offices, we are implementing the National Integrity Strategy (NIS) to provide services to people with transparency and accountability. People are getting benefits for implementation of the NIS,” Tahmina Akter Raina, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Pabna Sadar upazila told the Daily Sun.

Mentioning that they are implementing several tools like RTI (Right to Information Act) and Citizens’ Charter and publishing their activities online regularly, she however lamented that many people are still unaware of the NIS tools.

To prevent corruption and promote integrity, the government has formulated ‘Commitment for Golden Bengal: National Integrity Strategy of Bangladesh’. Keeping the citizens' perception in mind about corruption, the government of Bangladesh formulated the NIS, cabinet division sources said.

Talking to Daily Sun about integrity, Mohammad Zobair Hassan, director (research) of the non-government organization DORP said integrity tools is very much important to increase accountability and transparency among the duty bearers and sensitized them to provide quality services to people.

He said, for example, in WASH sector the integrity helps to realise the human rights to water and sanitation, boost sector performance, and ensure the sustainable use of water and Sanitation.

“The integrity includes transparency, accountability and participation which lead vested powers and resources ethically and honestly to ensure people have access to equitable and sustainable water and sanitation services,” Zobair Hassan said.

He also said building awareness among the people about the NIS is very much important to get its benefit and to reach its target of ensuring good governance and providing quality services to them.