January 24, 2016
Honorable Chief Guest, Mr. Mohammad Shafiul Alam, Cabinet Secretary,
Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Senior Secretary of Ministry of Public Administration,
Mr Muhammad Abdullah, Rector of BCSAA
Mr. N. M. Zeaul Alam, Secretary in-Charge, Cabinet Division,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalam alaikum and good morning.
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to attend the inaugural ceremony of the second National Integrity Strategy Training Course jointly organized by the Cabinet Division and JICA.
Recognizing NIS as a comprehensive good governance strategy to prevent corruption and promote integrity in the Government of Bangladesh as well as all strata of the society, JICA started its collaboration with the Cabinet Division right after the cabinet approval of NIS in October 2012. After dispatching a mission on good governance strategy, JICA decided to launch a technical cooperation called "NIS Support Project" with the aim of establishing a framework for effective implementation of NIS. As a part of the Project, our colleagues in the Cabinet Division and some ministries were sent to Japan in May 2015 to observe how code of conduct and associated rules are applied to Japanese public servants to help maintain integrity and prevent corruption. It should be noted that implementation of NIS is given special priority in the brand-new Seventh Five Year Plan as mentioned in its chapter of "Strengthening Public Administration, Public Institution and Governance."
I would like to appreciate the Project Director and the whole project team for their efforts to implement the technical cooperation project steadily for the first year. The project has successfully completed the groundwork such as awareness building of corruption prevention among the Integrity Focal Points, formulation of NIS work plans by almost all ministries and concerned institutions, drafting a NIS Road map and formulation of NIS Monitoring Guidelines. In collaboration with the Project, Anti-Corruption Commission started to hold series of consultation workshops cum public hearing, focusing on corruption prevention, in districts, upazilas as well as Dhaka City Corporations. An NIS Seminar was also organized in October 2015, in which good practices in realizing the NIS vision by five institutions were widely disseminated not only to government agencies but also to media and civil societies. Further to these, the project considers extending its technical support to promote several initiatives led by the Cabinet Division, such as Grievance Redress System and Annual Performance Agreement.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Bangladesh has continued both stable economic growth and social development more than a decade. It advanced in status from a low-income country to a lower-middle-income country last year. In terms of social development, Bangladesh showed a remarkable progress in MDGs especially in poverty reduction, primary education and health.
Nevertheless, we should not forget that governance is still a daunting deterrent to faster growth and greater advancement of this country. Governance matters to hold the government accountable to the electorate and achieve an effective and efficient use of resources in meeting people's needs.
Besides, good governance is a prerequisite to promote private investment. Bangladesh needs to encourage private investment including foreign direct investment to increase from the current level of 22% of GDP to much higher level in order to achieve a higher growth trajectory of eight-percent plus. To attract investors who are by nature of long-term perspective, the host government has to demonstrate how well it governs, proving that it is predictable, transparent and accountable. Trust in government nurtured by good governance is really an intangible social asset necessary for vibrant economic activities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As indicated by the fact that National Integrity Advisory Council is headed by Honorable Prime Minister, I firmly believe that it is the role of the public sector, who should lead effective implementation of NIS, setting good examples for others by strictly maintaining integrity in providing services to the citizen and in procurement of goods and services.
Building on the progress to date, together with new leadership under Honorable Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Mohammad Shafiul Alam as well as Secretary in-Charge of Cabinet Division, Mr. N. M. Zeaul Alam, I am certain that it is possible to spread faithful, pro-citizen public services across the country and finally establish laudable governance in Bangladesh. I would like to genuinely ask all eighty-four participants of this NIS training course, especially the Integrity Focal Points of fifty-nine institutions, to play a vital role in realizing the NIS vision in the front line of each organization.
Finally, I hope the Cabinet Division and ACC will continue to try every possible means to achieve transformational results in the latter part of the technical cooperation project, involving NGOs, media and civil societies to sincerely respond to the citizen's voice and ensure accountability of the state.
Apnader Shabaike Dhannabad. Thank you very much.