Ministry encourages citizens to ‘complain’ about bribery

Ministry encourages citizens to ‘complain’ about bribery

The Ministry of Home Affairs is calling on citizens to report instances of bribery and corruption and has promised to protect those who speak up.

In a column published on 30 November in the state mouthpiece, New Light of Myanmar, the report provided contact details for the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Special Investigations and asked citizens to register their complaints ‘openly’.

Officials within the ministry said authorities would ensure that the names of those who registered complaints would remain confidential.

“The identity of the person filing a complaint will not be disclosed,” a government official told DVB on the condition of anonymity.

“If the [allegation] proves to be true, then we will make contact with concerned departments for action.”

While the government attempts to enlist the citizenry in its new fight to remove kleptocrats from its highly corrupt ranks, Rangoon Division High Court attorney Ko Ni said the ultimate responsibility lies with the government.

“Corruption is a violation of the law and it is their job to prevent it from happening as well as to protect [citizens],” said Ko Ni.  “There should be a clear answer regarding the question of which [government] sectors have the most corruption taking place.”

According to Transparency International’s Corruption Index, Burma was the 180 most corrupt country out of the 182 nations surveyed in 2011 – finishing just ahead of Somalia and North Korea.

While corruption remains deeply entrenched in Burma, reformers within the government appear to attempting to tackle graft in one of the world’s most venal nations.

In late November, Burma’s president told more than a dozen ministries to repay tens of thousands of dollars that had been “embezzled” by state officials.

The move was prompted by a report the Auditor General sent to the Union Parliament that detailed the misuse of funds by 15 government ministries during the 2011/2012 fiscal year.

 

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