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12 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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Good governance : A key consideration in public sector

Establishing and maintaining strong and dedicated institutions are critical in reducing the severity of poverty
Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed
Good governance : A key consideration 
in public sector

People in Bangladesh are facing different types of problems. The most indispensable problem is poor governance in public sectors.

The words good governance are widely used now-a-days. Good governance is a public management system, in which all sections of people of the society are directly involved in decision making, policy formulation and implementation of related socio-economic development programs. The process allows them to discharge their responsibilities and duties accordingly, have their rights to become empowered. Good governance is considered as a part of combined efforts of state, government, commercial organization and civic society.

It is believed that the steps would contribute to ensure participation of employees, workers and beneficiaries in management functions leading to good governance- Govt. rules, ordinance, decisions making process be implemented involving concerned individuals. Especially the women should be involved in decision making. The socio-economic organizations should be a viable one and the process of management and the manager of an enterprise jointly identify its common goals, define each individuals major areas of responsibilities in terms of the result expected of him and use these measures as guides for operation of the unit and assessing the contribution of each of its members. Activation of different committees/councils, decentralization of administrative units and top down planning.

There is no doubt that the question of good governance is an endless complexity. Nevertheless, establishing and maintaining just democratic institution is critical to reducing the severity of poverty and ethical dilemma faced by the country and its leaders. Just institutions should not be plagued by bribery and graft. When political leaders and officials engage in such behavior, they can be called to account by an independent and honest judiciary and independent Anti Corruption Commission. Instead of trying to eliminate corruption altogether we should reduce the opportunities for it to take over and flourish. We want firm commitment of all concerned including government to an independent and impartial Anti Corruption Commission to establish a corruption free Bangladesh.

In the last decade, good governance was closely associated with public sector reform. Within the public management discipline or profession, it was regarded as an aspect of new paradigm in public administration. Good governance is a public management system. It is considered as a part of governance, with productive private sector and mobilized civil society. Democracy, after all, means empowering the masses,  creating a society based on freedom, equality and economic justice. Democracy is positively correlated with good governance.

The people of Bangladesh have a strong desire to uphold the sprit of liberation war and to establish good governance and democracy. Educated and skilled manpower, induction of ICT in management, strengthening democratic institutions, establishing rule of law, tackling corruption, reducing poverty and inequality are some of the key challenges that have been faced by Bangladesh today.

We have no option but to accept the challenge and overcome all obstacles on our way to the cherished goal. We need skilled and healthy human capital, as stable political culture, a thrust of enlightened patriotism to achieve our goal. In this context we should remember the saying of Nelson Mandela 'One man's vision united an entire country and touched and transformed every soul on earth. If one person can achieve feat of this magnitude we can certainly achieve our vision.

Good governance process allows all section of people of the society to discharge their duties accordingly, have their right to become empowered and ensure their participation in decision making in related socio-economic development program. It ensures transparent use of public funds, strengthens anti-corruption, encourages growth of the private sector and corporate governance, promotes responsive administration, effective delivery of public services and helps to establish rule of law. Good governance facilitates state and local government policies, pro-poor reforms as well as sound macroeconomic management. It involves the poor and NGOs in the planning and implementation of programs. Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that ensures good governance.  

Standing Committees on Ministries should be institutionalized and the concerned Ministries should recognize their recommendations in decisions related to the affairs of the Ministries. In order to maintain better working relations between the elected representatives and appointed officials, the existing problems, issues and constraints should be identified and on the basis of the findings their roles and responsibilities must be redefined and these should be put in practice. Punishment for poor performance and reward for good performance, on the basis of appropriate performance appraisal (which objectively discriminate between poor and good performance) should be rigidly applied to all appointed officials. Unconstitutional laws dealing with the functions and formation of constitutional bodies like CAG, PSC, Local Government commission and EC must be regulated by democratic laws allowing them to work independently. With the change of political power the politicization of government service holders and their active participation in politics should be discouraged. An Administrative Reform Commission should be set up and its recommendations should be implemented phase wise on yearly basis. The experience of South-East Asian countries may be adapted in conformity with the practical conditions of Bangladesh.

The hereditary nature of leadership should be abolished and the party constitution should be amended to allow change in leadership after at best two terms. The party structure and committees should be filled only by elections and this will encourage as well as develop honest and fit leadership from the grassroots level. It is urgently needed now to make the Parliament effective. Political leaders who are devoted to the institutional democracy should create a sort of genuine pressure so that none can take any arbitrary or dictatorial actions to destroy democracy. The law makers need to wake up to the detrimental impacts of student politics. They must take necessary steps to confine student organizations only to academic pursuit. Creating a society based on freedom, equality and economic justice to ensure people's empowerment.

Political insight of any government should be a major factor to strengthen good governance and democracy. There is a need to bridge the gap between the preferences of the political elite and the concerned problems of the common people. Unified social movement of the civil society, social groups and organizations are needed to materialize the related policies and programs for establishing good governance and institutionalizing democracy. Result-based, well planned and need-based training and advocate programs should be an integral part of all endeavors for improving good governance and institutionalize democratic practices in the country.

The writer is a contributor to

The Independent

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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