Bangladeshi Judicial System

Individual Corruption

According to the Global Corruption Barometer 2013, over half of the surveyed households perceive the judiciary to be corrupt, thus rendering the judiciary the second most corrupt sector in Bangladesh (out of the 12 institutions included in the survey). According to the Human Rights Report 2013, some human rights observers alleged that in many cases magistrates, attorneys and court officials demanded bribes from defendants. Furthermore, corruption within the judiciary has hindered many victims from obtaining a fair trial.

Business Corruption

Doing Business 2014 and the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 reveal that Bangladesh's courts are both inefficient and subject to political influences from members of government, citizens and companies. The Transformation Index 2014 points out that lower courts are marred by corruption and often subject to political interference. Companies should note that the ineffective judiciary and lack of appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms make it difficult to enforce contracts or to resolve business disputes in Bangladesh, according to the Investment Climate Statement 2013.

Political Corruption

In Bangladesh, court procedures are often cumbersome, politically influenced and corruption-prone. This is confirmed by the Human Rights Report 2013, which states judicial corruption and inefficiency, lack of resources and a case backlog taint the judicial system. Furthermore, Freedom in the World 2013 notes that judicial appointments are marred by political bias.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- On average, enforcing a commercial contract in Bangladesh requires a company to fulfil 41 administrative procedures, taking an average of 1,442 days and costing 66.8% of the claim.

Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2013:
- 53% of the surveyed households perceive the judiciary to be 'corrupt' or 'extremely corrupt'.

- The judiciary was given a score of 3.5 out of 5 (1 being 'not at all corrupt' and 5 'extremely corrupt')

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the independence of the judiciary from influences of members of government, citizens or companies a score of 2.4 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'heavily influenced' and 7 'entirely independent').

- Business executives give the efficiency of the legal system for private companies to settle disputes and to challenge the legality of government actions and/or regulations a score of 3.1 and 3.3, respectively, on a 7-point scale (1 being 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'highly efficient').

Bangladeshi Police

Individual Corruption

Police are perceived to be very corrupt in the eyes of Bangladeshi households. This is displayed in the Global Corruption Barometer 2013, in which the surveyed households perceive the police to be the institution most affected by corruption (out of the 12 listed institutions in the survey). A 2012 report, published by the Refugee Documentation Center, states that pervasive corruption within the Bangladeshi police force is a direct result of the low salaries of police officials. Corruption coupled with impunity has made the security apparatus in Bangladesh not only one of the most corrupt institutions in the country but also a tool in the hands of the ruling elite to deal with political opponents, as noted in the same report.

Business Corruption

Business executives surveyed by the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 state that the police cannot be consistently relied upon to enforce law and order.

Political Corruption

According to the Global Integrity Report 2010, law enforcement agencies are not protected from political interference, and appointments to the police department are often influenced by bribes, nepotism and party loyalties, rather than by professional qualifications. The Human Rights Report 2013 notes that the government has taken steps to address police corruption and integrity issues. Nonetheless, corruption and impunity continue to be widespread within the force, and the punishment of officials who have committed abuses is predominantly limited to those perceived to be opponents of the Awami League government.

Frequency

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the reliability of police services a score of 2.6 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'cannot be relied upon to enforce law and order' and 7 'can be relied upon to enforce law and order').

Transparency International: Global Corruption Barometer 2013:
- 64% of citizens perceive the police to be corrupt or extremely corrupt.

- The police is given a score of 3.9 out 5 (1 being 'not at all corrupt' and 5 'extremely corrupt').

Bangladeshi Public Services

Business Corruption

According to the Investment Climate Statement 2013, companies often complain that ministries require unnecessary licences and permits. In general, it is both expensive and difficult to obtain access to public utilities. This is further supported by the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014, which notes that inefficient government bureaucracy is one of the main obstacles to doing business in Bangladesh.

According to a 2014 Transparency International press release, factory owners often offer bribes to safety inspectors to bypass inspection or to get inspectors to overlook security flaws. Potential investors should be aware that the vast bureaucracy involved (over 17 different certification and inspection bodies) creates many opportunities for bribery, with instances of $22,000 in bribes and extra fees.

Political Corruption

According to a 2014 Transparency International press release, when garment factory owners fail with a bribe to the inspector, they resort to political influence to keep their business running. Many politicians are themselves factory owners or have indirect ties to the industry and collude with businesspeople to avoid complying with security and health standards.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- On average, dealing with construction permits in Bangladesh requires a company to go through 11 administrative procedures, taking 201 days and costing 110.3% of income per capita.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the government administrative requirements (permits, regulations and reporting) in Bangladesh a score of 3.2 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'burdensome' and 7 'not burdensome').

Transparency International Bangladesh: National Household Survey - Corruption in the Service Sectors 2012:
- Of all household respondents who received electricity services, 18.3% reported they had experienced corruption and harassment.

- Of all household respondents who received health services from government and private hospitals, 40.2% reported that they had experienced corruption and irregularities.

- Of all household respondents who received educational services from different academic institutions, 40.1% reported that they had experienced corruption and irregularities. 

- The average sum of a bribe when interacting with electricity departments was BDT 1,725.

- The average sum of a bribe when interacting with health departments was BDT 258.

- The average sum of a bribe when interacting with education departments was BDT 100.

Bangladeshi Land Administration

Individual Corruption

According to the Transformation Index 2014, patronage networks linking landowners, the police and state bureaucrats make it difficult for peasants, especially Hindu minorities, to assert their property rights in rural areas in Bangladesh.

Business Corruption

According to the Transformation Index 2014, property rights are legally safeguarded, but problems remain in practice. The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 rates Bangladesh very poorly when it comes to the protection of property rights. Registries of property are inadequate and unreliable, often causing problems when transferring ownership of land and property. Companies should know that antiquated property laws and poor record-keeping systems can make property and land transactions very burdensome and take longer than expected, according to the Investment Climate Statement 2013.

Political Corruption

A 2012 report published by U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center cites a 2012 study by Transparency International which reveals that a significant number of Members of Parliament have been involved in the illegal takeover of government land. The same report further notes that the construction sector is also riddled with corruption; bribery and abuse of power within the authority in charge of land use, planning and implementation has resulted in corrupt construction projects.

Among Bangladesh's most important construction scandals is the collapse of an eight-story garment factory in April 2013. The factory, owned by the leader of the youth group of the ruling Awami League, was allegedly built on an illegally obtained piece of land and operated without permission for its three extra floors, as reported by a June 2013 Transparency International press release. The factory had already lost its operating licence months before the accident that resulted in the deaths of 1,129 employees.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- Registering property requires a company to go through an average of 8 administrative procedures, taking 245 days at a cost of 6.7% of the property value.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the protection of property rights in Bangladesh, including financial assets, a score of 3.4 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'very weak' and 7 'very strong').

Transparency International Bangladesh: National Household Survey - Corruption in the Service Sectors 2012:
- Of all household respondents who received services from the land administration, 77% reported that they had experienced corruption and harassment.

- The average sum of a bribe when interacting with the land departments was BDT 7,807.

Bangladeshi Tax Administration

Individual Corruption

Transparency International Bangladesh's National Household Survey 2012 reports that out of all household respondents who received tax-related services from tax offices, more than two-thirds of them reported to have experienced corruption, harassment or irregularities.

Business Corruption

According to the Global Integrity Report 2010, tax laws are not always uniformly enforced without discrimination. The same source also reports that the National Board of Revenue, the central authority for tax administration in Bangladesh, is one of the most corrupt government agencies in the country. The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 further notes that tax rates and tax regulations are cited by business executives to be among the obstacles to doing business in Bangladesh. The Investment Climate Statement 2013 reports that corruption among tax collection agents is common, raising the costs and risks of doing business in Bangladesh.

Political Corruption

According to a March 2011 news article by the Daily Star, a total of BDT 21,000 crore (a crore equals BDT 10 million) in taxes was evaded by taxpayers in the fiscal year of 2009-2010. According to the article, corrupt practices by tax officials are cited as one of the main challenges facing the National Board of Revenue.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- On average, companies are required to make 20 tax payments and spend 302 hours at a total tax rate of 35% of profits annually to manage the burden of paying taxes.

Transparency International Bangladesh: National Household Survey - Corruption in the Service Sectors 2012:
- Of all household respondents who received tax-related services from tax offices, 71.9% reported that they had experienced corruption, harassment and irregularities.

- The average sum of a bribe paid to the tax and customs departments was BDT 3,482.

Bangladeshi Customs Administration

Business Corruption

The Investment Climate Statement 2013 reported that businesspeople often complain about petty corruption, such as the need to make unofficial payments within the customs administration. A similar trend is also reflected in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2012, in which business executives ranked border administration (in relation to irregular payments in exports and imports) as not always transparent in Bangladesh, constituting a competitive disadvantage for the country. According to a Commercial Environment 2012 report by Dun & Bradstreet, the customs administration in Bangladesh is cited among the country's most corrupt sectors; officials routinely exert their power to influence the tariff value of imports and to expedite or delay import and export processing at the ports. As such, the main obstacles to trade are the continuing lack of transparency in trade regulations and policy changes which are often unclear, inconsistent and only implemented after long delays. Corruption within customs increases the cost of and uncertainty in trading within Bangladesh.

Political Corruption

Chittagong Port, which handles the over 80% of Bangladesh’s total imports and exports, is considered to be one of the most inefficient and corrupt ports in Asia. Customs and port officials are renowned for taking bribes. According to an August 2013 article by the Dhaka Tribune, Chittagong Port Authority officials, among others, demand bribes of local residents in return for job positions which they have been officially entitled to given the provision for land acquisition.

Frequency

The World Bank & IFC: Doing Business 2014:
- On average, a standard export shipment of goods requires 6 documents and takes 25 days at a cost of USD 1,075 per container.

- On average, a standard import shipment of goods requires 8 documents and takes 35 days at a cost of USD 1,470 per container.

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the efficiency of customs procedures (formalities regulating the entry and exit of merchandise) in Bangladesh score of 3.4 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'extremely inefficient' and 7 'extremely efficient').

World Economic Forum: The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012:
- Business executives give the pervasiveness of irregular payments in exports and imports (pervasiveness of undocumented extra payments or bribes connected with imports and exports) in Bangladesh a score of 2.4 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'non-transparent' and 7 'transparent').

Transparency International Bangladesh: National Household Survey - Corruption in the Service Sectors 2012:
- The average amount of a bribe paid to the tax and customs departments was BDT 3,482.

Bangladeshi Public Procurement

Business Corruption

According to the Global Integrity Report 2010, conflict of interest regulations for procurement officials are not well enforced in practice, and there is no mechanism to monitor the assets, incomes or spending habits of public procurement officials. Companies guilty of major violations of procurement regulations, such as bribery, are not always prohibited from participating in future procurement bids. It is further alleged that some powerful companies will not be affected by debarment. Nevertheless, according to the Global Integrity Report 2010, more than 50 companies were banned from bidding process for violating procurement regulations between 2009 and 2010.

According to a December 2013 article in the Globe and Mail, a businessman and several employees of the SNC-Lavalin Group attempted to bribe Bangladeshi officials in order to receive preferential treatment in the public tender to supervise construction of a six-kilometre bridge in Bangladesh.

Business executives in the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 report that government officials often favour well-connected companies and individuals when awarding contracts. Companies are therefore recommended to use a specialised public procurement due diligence tool to mitigate the corruption risks associated with public procurement in Bangladesh.

Read more about public procurement under 'Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives'.

Political Corruption

Locally, corruption is considered among the highest in the award of government contracts in the road construction sector, according to an October 2012 article by TRUST. Subsequent governments have been using political patronage to award jobs or lucrative government contracts in transportation, utilities, construction projects and government supplies.

In April 2011, the World Bank signed a deal to lend Bangladesh USD 1.2 billion to build the country's largest bridge, stretching four-miles over the Padma River. The bridge was supposed to link Bangladesh's underdeveloped south to the capital and the country's main port, benefiting 30 million people and improving the country's infrastructure. However, according to a June 2012 article by the Wall Street Journal, the World Bank cancelled the loan due to allegations of corruption. The bank suspended its funding due to allegations that two former executives of the Canadian engineering and construction company, SNC-Lavalin, bribed Bangladeshi government officials to win a contract related to the construction of the bridge. The World Bank had provided the government with credible evidence of corruption and the Bangladeshi government instructed its Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter and reassigned the minister who was overseeing the project. Nevertheless, these actions proved to be unsatisfactory to the World Bank.

Read more about public procurement under 'Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives'.

Frequency

World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014:
- Business executives give the diversion of public funds to companies, individuals or groups due to corruption a score of 2.7 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'very common' and 7 'never occurs').

- Business executives rate the favouritism of government officials when deciding upon policies and contracts at 2.2 on a 7-point scale (1 being 'always show favouritism' and 7 'never show favouritism').

Bangladeshi Natural Resources

Business Corruption

According to the Global Integrity Report 2010, business inspections by government officials to ensure public environment standards are often carried out in an arbitrary and ad hoc manner. It is also alleged that companies often pay bribes when dealing with environmental inspections to circumvent environmental rules.

According to a June 2011 article by the Globe and Mail, Canadian-based Niko Resources Ltd. was found guilty of bribing the Bangladesh's State Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources through gifts including a luxury SUV vehicle and trips to New York and Calgary. The bribe was meant to guarantee the minister's abuse of office with regard to a gas purchase and sales agreements with the Bangladeshi government.

Political Corruption

According to an April 2014 article by the local newspaper Daily Star, the public gas supplier Titas Gas has been providing illegal gas connections to over 500 companies, with officials receiving kickbacks for each connection. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is currently undertaking investigations into the matter. This follows fears of the monopolisation of resources which has progressively encouraged bribery and red tape to become institutionalised within the water sector. This is supported by a 2012 report published by U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center which notes that a study conducted by Transparency International in 2012 reveals Members of Parliament being involved in taking illegal possession of water bodies.

According to a Commercial Environment 2012 report by Dun & Bradstreet, there are hopes that Bangladesh may be able to develop significant natural gas resources, as the Bangladesh petroleum Exploration and Production company announced in 2011 the discovery of a new reserve of gas with an estimated 1 trillion cubic feet. Nevertheless, state-owned companies' mismanagement of the gas sector has contributed to a crippling domestic energy shortage.

Bangladeshi Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives

  • Legislation: Bangladesh accession to the United Nations Convention against Corruption occurred in 2007. The Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, the Prevention of Corruption Act 1947, the Penal Code 1860 and the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2002 criminalise attempted corruption, extortion, active and passive bribery, bribery of foreign public officials, money laundering, and using public resources or confidential state information for private gain. Business-to-business corruption is not covered by Bangladesh's current legislative anti-corruption framework. The definition of money laundering was subsequently extended to cover various processes through which the crime is being committed, including 'predicate offences', such as corruption and bribery, forgery of currencies and documents, extortion, cheating, dealing in illegal arms and drugs, smuggling, abduction for ransom, murder, and the transfer of concealed money to other countries from Bangladesh or receiving such money from other countries into Bangladesh. The Anti-Money Laundering Law was further amended to incorporate laws to prevent stock market manipulation and a provision that allows documents provided by foreign governments to be admissible in court for bringing back siphoned off money from abroad. In January 2012, the Government of Bangladesh further endorsed a draft of the Money Laundering Act 2012, keeping to the provision of a maximum 12 years and minimum 4 years jail for the offence. The Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004 provides the legal framework for an independent commission to ensure transparency in the public sector. The Voluntary Disclosure of Information Ordinance forms the basis for the establishment of the so-called 'Corruption Truth Commission', which gives partial amnesties in return for information about corruption. However, according to a BBC News article published in May 2011, the commission was declared illegal and unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, citing there being no provision in the Constitution to give amnesty to individuals accused of corruption. Other significant ordinances, including the Right to Information Ordinance 2008, have been ratified by the Parliament. The Right to Information Act 2009 (view a summary of the Right to Information Act 2009) is designated to play an important role in ensuring transparency and accountability. Access the Lexadin World Law Guide for a collection of legislation in Bangladesh.
  • Government Strategies: The current Awami League government has pledged to fight corruption and reaffirmed the need for a strong anticorruption commission. However, it has taken steps to loosen experience requirements in public procurement laws and has also approved an amendment to the Anti-Corruption Commission Act (see ‘Anti-Corruption Agency’ below for more information). According to the Investment Climate Statement 2013, both measures have been widely criticised for weakening safeguards against corruption.

  • Anti-Corruption Agency: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was established in accordance with the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004. According to the Human Rights Report 2013, the number of corruption cases filed under the government is significantly less compared to the caretaker government, and a government commission has recommended that the ACC drop thousands of corruption cases. The report further notes that the ACC was used by the government to prosecute politically motivated cases. The Global Integrity Report 2010 points out that the ACC does not receive sufficient funding or enough professional employees to sufficiently fulfil its mandate. The ACC is accountable to the President and publishes annual reports on its website. In association with Transparency International Bangladesh, the ACC has held awareness campaigns against corruption as part of its programme to hold seminars, symposiums and workshops related to the issue. However, the Transformation Index 2014 reports that the ACC has had its powers slowly curtailed by the government. In November 2013, the amended Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2013 was passed by Parliament and later approved by the President. The amended Act includes a provision making the ACC obliged to seek permission from the government before investigating state officials, including lawmakers and judges. However, the ACC is not corruption free itself, as reported in a January 2011 news article by AFP. The deputy director of the ACC was arrested after having been filmed taking a USD 14,000 bribe from the owner of a garment export company.

  • National Coordination Committee (NCC): The NCC was formed to lead the countrywide operation to curb corruption. The NCC is manned by all general officers commanding (GOCs), secretaries to the Chief Advisor's Office and the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Chairman of the National Board of Revenue, the Director General of the Central Intelligence Cell of the National Board of Revenue and other top government officials.

  • Anti-Money Laundering Department (AMLD): The AMLD is the official financial intelligence unit (FIU) in Bangladesh. The legal authority of the AMLD emanates from the Money Laundering Prevention Act 2009, and the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009. The Money Laundering Prevention Ordinance 2008 provides that the courts will not take into consideration any money laundering case without approval from the Anti-Corruption Commission. In addition, this ordinance provides for the Central Bank to seek help from countries or agencies to investigate and recover assets through memoranda of understanding and contracts and conventions with governments or organisations. The Anti-Money Laundering law was further amended to incorporate laws to prevent stock market manipulation and a provision that says documents provided by foreign governments will be admissible in court for bringing back siphoned off money from abroad.

  • Office of the Ombudsman: The Constitution of Bangladesh and the Ombudsman Act 1980 contain provisions for the establishment of the Office of the Ombudsman; however, only the Office of the Tax Ombudsman has been set up in practice. The quasi-judicial mandate of the Office of the Tax Ombudsman is to receive taxpayer complaints in relation to income tax, value added tax and customs duties and to investigate and make recommendations based on these complaints in order to hold the National Board of Revenue accountable for malpractice. As of 2011, the Office of the Tax Ombudsman of Bangladesh has been effectively abolished.

  • Auditor General: The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is a formally independent organ that works as the supreme audit institution of Bangladesh. According to the Global Integrity Report 2010, the appointments to the CAG do not always support its independence, and individuals appointed are sometimes based on political and other considerations, rather than on professional qualifications. The CAG is important for identifying financial irregularities. The Comptroller and Auditor General is appointed by the president and charged with auditing the expenses of all government bodies. The CAG is required to submit its audit reports to the president; its reports are also available online. According to the same source, the government often does not act on the findings; only an average of 20% of its audit reports are discussed in the concerned parliamentary standing committee, and 22% of the recommendations are implemented by the audited organisations. Projects funded by foreign assistance do not fall under the purview of the CAG.

  • Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC): The BPSC is a quasi-judicial body mandated to ensure fair and transparent public sector recruitment, but it has been criticised for a lack of independence, its vulnerability to partisan influence and its inefficiency. Bribery and the sale of undue advantages to applicants have been reported, mostly due to the lack of internal integrity and deterrence systems. This is supported by a 2012 research paper which notes that the BPSC's credibility has been undermined due to serious allegations of bribe-taking by its staff. Furthermore, the appointments of politically aligned persons as its chair and members have further strengthened the belief that the BPSC has served as a tool to establish a partisan control over the civil service recruitment process. The work of the BPSC has been reported as inadequate in connection with the Official Secrets Act, which has been used to withhold information. However, the Right to Information Act 2009 overrides the Official Secrets Act and several other restrictive acts. Nevertheless, the Transformation Index 2014 notes that the Right to Information Act is not fully implemented in practice.

  • E-Governance: In the United Nations’ E-Government Survey 2012, Bangladesh’s e-government development is ranked 150th out of 192 UN member states, indicating that e-governance is still in need of development. Development is proceeding at a slow pace, partly due to the lack of access to the internet among many Bangladeshis. However, most ministries and government institutions have launched their own websites, such as those of the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General. Furthermore, people can declare their taxes online through the National Board of Revenue. An e-Government web portal has also been developed to provide more convenient access to various government services and information through a one-window approach. In the capital, Dhaka, people can handle birth registrations and apply for trade licences online.

  • Public Procurement: In an effort to make public procurement more accountable and transparent, the Public Procurement Act was passed and the new set of Public Procurement Rules (see the link 'Procurement Policy') were issued. The Act has unified public procurement procedures for all government procuring entities. The regulations have been framed to ensure fair, transparent and non-discriminatory public procurement, and they explicitly address corruption issues. According to the public procurement regulations, all procurement officials should receive training on how to correctly apply regulations and procedures. Companies that violate the procurement regulations risk being blacklisted. However, the private sector has reportedly continued to engage in malpractice in the procurement process. In the beginning of 2010, the government established a 27-member watchdog body, the Public-Private Stakeholders Committee (PPSC), in order to monitor the public procurement process and ensure transparency and accountability. According to an April 2013 press release by the World Bank, the government's initiative has been demonstrated by reduced procurement delays, improved competitiveness and enhanced transparency. The government publishes a debarment list on the Central Procurement Technical Unit website. The Central Procurement Technical Unit also operates the national e-Government Procurement portal. On this website, companies can also find tenders advertised, standard tender documents and public procurement regulations and acts.

  • Whistleblowing: Several pieces of Bangladeshi legislation (e.g., the Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2004) provide a framework for the protection of whistleblowers in the public sectors, but they do not safeguard the private sector employees who report corruption cases. In 2012, the Whistleblower Protection Act was adopted to protect the identities of information providers and ensure good governance. Cases of corruption related to the public sector can be reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) by post or by e-mail. According to a September 2012 article by Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, in accordance with the law, no civil or criminal case can be filed against the persons who provide correct information, and they cannot be made to testify in any case. In addition, the whistleblowers would be awarded by appropriate authorities if the courts give final verdicts on the basis of their information. Giving false information or making false accusations can result in punishment. Despite the protection provisions provided by the Whistleblower Protection Act, a significant 64% of citizens surveyed in the Global Corruption Barometer 2013 reveal that they would not report cases of corruption for fear of retribution.

Bangladeshi Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives

  • Media: The Constitution provides for freedom of expression and freedom of the press; according to Freedom of the Press 2013, the media environment remains relatively open despite some signs of intolerance by the government. For instance, the report notes that political considerations influence how government advertising revenue and newsprint subsidies are distributed. The Transformation Index 2014 reports that both print and electronic media are diverse and vibrant. Tight media constraints were put in place during the military-backed interim government's state of emergency. Nevertheless, the interim government passed the Right to Information Ordinance 2008, granting journalists and citizens increased access to information. Using the Right to Information Ordinance as a foundation, the following government passed the Right to Information Act 2009 (view a summary of the Right to Information Act 2009) to allow civil society and the press to play a better role in ensuring government transparency and accountability. Some privately owned newspapers write critical articles on government policies and activities, although persecution of journalists and self-censorship is not uncommon. According to the Human Rights Report 2013, there have been instances of the government limiting freedom of speech and press, continuing self-censorship, and security force harassment of journalists. During 2012, 4 journalists were killed, 118 were injured, 50 were threatened, 6 were attacked and 43 were assaulted. The World Press Freedom Index 2014 ranks Bangladesh 146th out of 180 countries, and Freedom of the Press 2013 ranks Bangladesh 112th out of 197 countries and describes the country's press environment as 'partly free'.

  • Civil Society: Freedom of association is constitutionally provided for and is generally respected. Under the emergency regulations of the interim government, freedom of assembly and association were suspended and all political activity was banned, including indoor meetings, marches and rallies. With the return to a civilian government, operational conditions for civil society have normalised. Numerous NGOs operate in Bangladesh, and civil society in Bangladesh has been successful in engaging in empowerment programs, as well as in raising awareness of social and political issues, as reported by the Transformation Index 2014. The Global Integrity Report 2010 reports that NGOs and CSOs promoting good governance and anti-corruption face difficulties or harassment when becoming registered. According to Freedom in the World 2013, the organisations that focus on sensitive political and religious topics do so at some risk. NGOs that are critical of the government and those that deal with human rights issues are under supervision from the authorities and are subject to harassment. The same report further notes that authorities annulled the registration of thousands of NGOs during 2012 and that the government announced the drafting of legislation that will further restrict foreign donations to NGOs in Bangladesh.

  • Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB): TIB conducts campaigns, issues reports and raises awareness in relation to corruption. TIB also carries out research on corruption and publishes surveys and analyses of corruption in various sectors in Bangladesh. TIB has catalysed or has been directly involved in a number of key institutional and policy changes, including the reform of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the ratification of the UNCAC, the adoption of the Right to Information Act, and most recently, the drafting of the Whistleblower Protection Act. Click here to read TIB Annual Report 2012.

  • Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI): The BEI promotes issues of importance to the private sector and seeks to influence policy for the development of a market-oriented economy. It is a project-oriented institute that works with projects to promote transparency and to fight corruption. The BEI publishes newsletters and annual reports that can be accessed on its website.

Bangladeshi Information Network

 


Relevant Organisations

 

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB)

House 141, Block E,
Road 12, Banani
Dhaka 1213

Tel: +880 2 988 7490/ 882 6036
Fax: +880 2 988 4811
Email: LOADEMAIL[info]DOMAIN[ti-bangladesh.org]

NGO. Transparency International local chapter.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI)

House 2, Road 54
Gulshan 2
Dhaka 1212

Tel: +880 2 986 2645/ 989 6805/ 2662/ 2663
Fax: +880 2 988 8583
Email: LOADEMAIL[bei]DOMAIN[bol-online.com]

A non-profit, non-political research centre.

ICC Bangladesh

Suvastu Tower, 6th Floor
69/1, Panthapath
Dhaka 1205

Tel.: +880 2 967 6698/ 862 1942
Fax: +880 2 862 1027
Email: LOADEMAIL[info]DOMAIN[icc-bd.org]

Chamber of Commerce. Business confederation.

 


Partner Embassies

 

Embassy of Denmark

House 1, Road 51
Gulshan 2
Dhaka 1212

Tel: +880 2 882 2499/1799
Fax: +880 2 882 3638
Email: LOADEMAIL[dacomb]DOMAIN[um.dk]

Embassy.

Embassy of Sweden

House 1, Road 51
Gulshan
Dhaka 1212

Tel: +880 2 885 2600
Fax: +880 2 882 3948
Email: LOADEMAIL[ambassaden.dhaka]DOMAIN[gov.se]

Embassy.

Embassy of Norway

House 9, Road 111
Gulshan
Dhaka 1212

Tel: + 880 2 882 3880 / 882 3065 / 88 16276 / 881 0563 / 881 6303 / 881 6273
Fax: + 880 2 882 3661
Email: LOADEMAIL[info]DOMAIN[ti-bangladesh.org]

Embassy.

British Embassy

United Nations Road
Baridhara
P.O. Box 6079
Dhaka 1212

Tel: +880 2 822 2705-9
Fax: +880 2 822 3666 (Immigration Section) 
      + 880 2 988 2819 (Consular)
Email: LOADEMAIL[emb.dhaka]DOMAIN[fco.gov.uk]

High commission.

Embassy of Austria in New Delhi (Covers Bangladesh)

EP-13, Chandragupta Marg
Chanakyapuri
New Delhi  110 021
India

Tel: (+91/11) 2419 2700
Fax: (+91/11) 2688 6929
Email: LOADEMAIL[new-delhi-ob]DOMAIN[bmeia.gv.at]

Embassy.

 

Bangladeshi Profile Sources

Bangladeshi General Information Sources

Bangladeshi Corruption Levels Sources

Judicial System

Police

Licences, Infrastructure and Public Utilities

Land Administration

Tax Administration

Customs Administration

Public Procurement and Contracting

  • World Economic Forum: The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014.
  • The Globe and Mail: 'Businessman charged in SNC-Lavalin probe turns himself in to RCMP', 3 December 2013.
  • TRUST: 'Crumbling roads and corruption in Bangladesh', 30 October 2012.
  • Wall Street Journal: 'World Bank cancels $1.2 billion Bangladesh loan', 30 June 2012.
  • Wall Street Journal: 'Mounties Raid SNC-Lavalin in Corruption probe', 2 September 2011.
  • Global Integrity: Bangladesh Country Report 2010.

Environment, Natural Resources and Extractive Industry

  • The Daily Star: 'Titas provides gas line to 500 firms illegally', 12 April 2014.
  • The Globe and Mail: 'Niko Resources pleads guilty in Bangladesh bribery case', 24 June 2011.
  • Global Integrity: Bangladesh Country Report 2010.

Bangladeshi Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives Sources

Bangladeshi Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives Sources