Anti-Corruption Commission Trains Officials at ‘Problem’ Ministries

By Moe Moe 6 February 2019

NAYPYITAW—The Corruption Prevention Unit of the Myanmar Anti-Corruption Commission will conduct training for officials at the 14 ministries that have drawn the most complaints from the public.

“There were many complaints filed against them. Those ministries have to engage with the public directly. There may be procedural irregularities, and even if they acted according to procedures, dissatisfied individuals file complaints,” spokesperson U Kyaw Soe of the anti-graft body told the press after opening the technical training session on Tuesday.

Among the ministries that have drawn a high number of complaints are Home Affairs; Office of the Union Government; Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; Transport and Communications; Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation; Electricity and Energy; Labor, Immigration and Population; Commerce; Education, Health and Sports; Planning and Finance; Hotels and Tourism; Construction; and the Union Attorney-General’s Office.

The commission said it received 10,747 complaints from Nov. 24, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018, of which over 2,000 were filed in Yangon Region and 1,837 in Mandalay Region.

The three-day training session will help restore trust between the public and the government, U Kyaw Soe said.

President U Win Myint in December approved the creation of corruption-prevention units (CPUs) within government departments.

The CPUs are a component of the Public-Private Collaboration against Corruption plan, a key part of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s 2018-21 strategy.

Anti-Corruption Commission chairman U Aung Kyi stressed the importance of CPUs, saying they are key to restoring the credibility of civil servants and the public’s trust in the government’s public service delivery.

U Aung Kyi said the CPUs’ most important task is to conduct corruption risk assessments in order to find the causes of corruption and devise appropriate control measures.

Daw Lei Lei Thwin, a member of the commission, said at a press conference in March last year that most of the complaints were filed against the Home Affairs Ministry.

The Anti-Corruption Commission plans to conduct similar training at all ministries to help fight corruption, U Kyaw Soe said.

U Thein Than Oo, general secretary of the Independent Lawyers’ Association of Myanmar, expressed his support for the training, saying that knowing the penalties for taking bribes would deter civil servants.