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Upper House lashes out at civil servants following complaints

The Upper House’s Public Complaints and Appeals Committee announced that punishments have been handed out to more than 17,000 civil servants.

During the Parliament’s Upper House session on Tuesday, the committee’s chairperson Aung Nyein read out a report concerning an investigation that looked at complaints that were filed against civil servants since the country’s new government took the reigns of power in April 2011.

The statement said 15,723 government workers and 1,229 Home Affairs Ministry personnel, including 689 police officers, have been disciplined in the wake of official complaints filed by the public.

Punishments varied from formal reprimands to salary cuts to delaying potential promotions, while others were handed jail time.

Min Oo, Upper House representative and member in the Public Complaints and Appeals Committee, said the parliamentary body is not satisfied as the government has only dealt with about one-fifth of the complaints filed.

“According to the report, the government has only responded to 104 of the 529 cases we passed on so that’s only about 19.66 percent of the overall cases and not very satisfactory,” said Min Oo.

“There are still 425 cases left to respond to.”

Under President Thein Sein’s quasi-civilian government, the notoriously corrupt country appears to be making moves to shed its kleptocratic image.

In late January, the government launched a probe into alleged corruption in the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. The government is investigating the conduct of eight officials from the ministry who are set to go on trial soon, including the former minister Thein Tun.

Ye Htut, presidential spokesperson and deputy-information minister, said the Office of the Auditor General, following an inquiry into the ministry, filed complaints with the Ministry of Home Affairs against personnel suspected of partaking in corruption.

According to the state press, Thein Tun resigned in January on his own accord.

In early January, President Thein Sein announced the formation of a committee to tackle corruption in the country’s myriad government bodies.

The nine-member committee, which is being led by Vice-President Dr Sai Mauk Kham, will coordinate efforts to eliminate bribery and promote good governance, according to a report in The New Light of Myanmar.

Burma is currently ranked 172 out of 176 countries measured in Transparency International’s 2012 corruption perception index.


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