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Political will needed to make ACC effective

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23rd-Nov-2019       
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THE Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday said that they are facing serious crisis of people's trust in them. The scale of failure overweighed their successes in the 15 years of establishment. The Commission's realisation comes in its 15th anniversary, when corruption index shows downtrend in all sectors and the media investigated out pillow-curtain- coal scams, et cetera. The self realization would hopefully help ACC to rebound by bolstering its actions to curb corruption that becomes institutionalised getting patronisation from bureaucracy.
Despite government's reiteration of zero tolerance against corruption, there are many systematic impediments in action and function of ACC. No subsequent government has yet given full freedom to ACC, nor has the ACC been able to operate effectively to enjoy public trust. The reality is that, successive governments have treated ACC as part of its executive wing while the ACC has also viewed itself as a government body, not a constitutional organisation, though its job was to hold the government to account. ACC was set up in November 2004 raising huge expectations among general people. However, it did not take long to be disillusioned. What's true is that, government didn't let the Commission function independently and effectively. Everyone knew that the Commissioners were appointed on political consideration. The Commission failed to demonstrate a seriousness of purpose and sense of direction.
We know fighting corruption needs a long-term and comprehensive process. Forming an ACC is not an end. Rather, it creates an opportunity to fight corruption in a comprehensive way. There are many countries in the World where there is no separate institution like ACC but they have done very well in curbing corruption showing their own integrity. Similarly, there are several countries which have formed anti-graft organisations like ACC, but they didn't get desired result due to lack of honesty and political will. We must say, the ACC cannot be an effective organisation without cooperation of the State's different organs, like --Parliament, Executive, Law-enforcement agencies, Judiciary, Public Service, and Comptroller and Auditor General's office.
For the sake of the country, we are in favour of a stronger and courageous ACC, not a toothless tiger.

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