His CBA status gave him undue privilege | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2019

Editorial

His CBA status gave him undue privilege

Misuse of public office facilities must end

The story of a class III employee of Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) using an SUV he was not entitled to for 10 years, is quite surprising. It is hard to believe that such misuse of a government office car could go on for 10 long years without his supervisors knowing. And if they did know about it, why would they allow him to continue for so long?

According to the news report that revealed such abuse of power, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) found out about this during a drive conducted after receiving a complaint about the stenographer who is also the general secretary of PDB's collective bargaining agent (CBA). The graft watchdog also calculated that around Tk 1 crore of public money had been wasted because of this misuse. It includes expenses for fuel and driver's salary.

What is puzzling is that this complaint has come after so many years of such blatant misuse of office facilities. Did no one in the office find it necessary to report such misconduct to the higher authorities? It seems holding a post in the CBA has given this employee undue privilege; in fact he has continued using the office vehicle one year after his retirement.

What is more concerning is that this is most likely not a one-off case and there may be other such instances where employees of government offices who hold CBA posts use office cars and other facilities that they are not entitled to. The ACC should investigate other public offices and make sure that such blatant misuse of public funds is eliminated.

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