Passport dept rejects TIB survey on public service

Staff Correspondent
Passport

Department of Immigration and Passport director general Brigadier General Md Masud Rezwan terming the TIB report as baseless holds a press conference in the capital on Thursday. — New Age photo

The Department of Immigration and Passport on Thursday rejected a survey report released on June 29 by the Transparency International, Bangladesh which stated that the passport office topped the tally of corruption plaguing the service sectors.
Department director general Brigadier General Md Masud Rezwan at his Agargaon office also claimed that the report was motivated and meant to malign the success of the government.
On June 29, the corruption watchdog released the report of ‘Corruption in Service Sectors: National Household Survey 2015’ which stated that the passport offices topped the tally of corruption plaguing the service sectors while the law-enforcement agencies took the second position.
The survey found that 77.7 per cent households across the country were victims of corruption at passport offices in getting or renewing passports. It said that 74.6 per cent of the households seeking service from the law enforcement agencies became victims of corruption. Corruption in the Special Branch of police for the verification of applicants for passports was included in the tally of the law enforcement agencies’ corruption.
More than two weeks after the report released, the passport department chief claimed that the watchdog tried to malign the government and the country ‘without properly knowing the activities of the department.’
Department officials said that they had a meeting with the watchdog officials on July 11.
Masud Rezwan also alleged that the report was baseless, imaginary and unexpected as it was based on the interviews of only 480 people.
He explained that many other issues including police verification and attestation were also involved in the issuance of passport.
The department chief, however, said that he was not claiming that passport department was free from corruption.
‘But, we are taking action against them [who are blamed for corruption]. Many officers and staff have already been fired,’ he said, adding that they were taking necessary action to improve the public services.
The survey found greater number of rural folks and the poor became victims of corruption in getting any service particularly while getting or renewing passports.
Earlier senior home ministry secretary Md Mozammel Haque Khan said that the survey on the passport offices did not reflect the real picture.

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