Founding Editor: Shafqat Munir   

Government urged to tackle corruption in public departments 

17 September 2010 09:19:18 nm

Government urged to tackle corruption in public departments

The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has urged the government to rebuild disaster-proof roads and public buildings damaged in the recent floods to avoid future losses in such calamities.

A press release issued by the CDPI here on Thursday says it is time for serious soul searching to determine as to what extent recent damage to the infrastructure has been caused by the force and fury of nature and to what extent it has been the result of the corruption-ridden system which allows the building of faulty infrastructure.

Contractors, in cahoots with public officials, build roads and public buildings flouting existing building codes. Our roads, schools and hospitals would not have suffered such heavy destruction in 2005 earthquake and now the recent floods had the existing building codes been properly implemented.

Given the fact that large parts of the country are prone to floods, as demonstrated by recent floods and witnessed in the periodic floods in the country’s history, there is a need for putting up infrastructure that can withstand onslaught of these floods. This will require tackling the issue of corruption which has become entrenched and institutionalised in the department responsible for building our public buildings and roads. The issue of corruption in these departments is linked with overall governance system which excludes public participation in the development processes. Increased openness of these departments, accountability of public officials and greater involvement of citizens in the affairs of these departments can help minimise corruption.

Citizens and media should be given access to the tenders and contracts. The government should devise a mechanism which ensures active involvement of concerned communities if public buildings and roads are to be built according to the specifications. Furthermore, it is important that public officials of these departments living beyond their known means of income are brought to book.