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Ghor ranks first in administrative graft: survey

FIROZKOH (Pajhwok): A recent survey shows corruption has drastically increased in some government departments of western Ghor province.
Conducted by a strategic planning team, the survey carried out in Firozkoh, the provincial capital, Lal wa Sarjangal, Dawlat Yar and Dolina districts took 45 days to complete. It ranks Ghor first in administrative corruption.  
Representatives from the Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG), civil society groups, provincial councils and local councils took part in the survey as part of the team.
It found and placed on number one the court of appeals, education, attorney’s office, police, public health, municipality, justice and agriculture sectors in corruption. 
The survey found less corrupt and listed on number two position departments including Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Services Commission (IARCSC), Rural Rehabilitation and Development (RRD), the Afghanistan Natural Disaster Management Authority (ANDMA) and the Economy Department.
Ranked third include Independent Election Commission (IEC), the Governor’s Office, Directorate of Hariroad River Zone, Labour and Social Affairs Department and Hajj and Religious Affairs.
Reacting to the survey, Governor Syed Anwar Rahmati said every government employee tried to make money, but his administration had launched efforts to do away with corruption and other such anomalies.
He said bribes and illegal transfer of money from one hand to another had become a trend in government departments. Rahmati lamented most people believed they could not get their problems resolved in government offices without paying kickbacks.
He said change in leaderships at local departments held key to eliminating corruption, saying officials holding positions for decades had developed relationships that paved the ground for corruption and illegal demands. 
“We want the unity government should replace local departmental heads with educated and young, energetic people in order to banish corruption from government offices,” Governor Rahmati said.
Meanwhile, senior civil society activist, Khudayar Waqif, said government’s failure to try corrupt officials during the past 13 years had resulted in increased corruption in its institutions.
He cited various forms of corruption plaguing public sector departments from bribes to appointing disqualified persons based on relationships, land-grabbing, and misuse of power.
Provincial council member Abdul Rahman Attash said the judiciary and education departments and aid-giving NGOs all were rife with massive corruption.  
He said schoolteachers in many areas did not attend classes, but they regularly received salaries. There were no schools in some areas, but teachers existed and were paid stipends, he added.
Attash said the menace of corruption could be eliminated if a proper mechanism was put in place ensuring that laws were implemented and coordination between government departments and civil society organizations was increased. He called for a system of punishment and reward.
The survey corroborates deep concerns Ghor residents have been expressing about corruption in government institutions.
Dwellers of several localities said corruption and mismanagement in judicial institutions had forced them to approach insurgent commanders for resolving their disputes in a swift manner.
Ghulam Mohammad, hailing from Pasaband district, said: “I gave 200,000 afghanis in bribe to court officials and waited for three years to get resolved a dispute over a five-acre of land. But my efforts yielded no result and the land dispute remained unresolved.”
A disappointed Mohammad took his case to local Taliban leaders. His issue was addressed within a week and he got his land back in accordance with a decision by ulema.
Officials confirm more than 4,500 illegal armed men associated with nearly 100 different groups are waging a struggle against the government in Ghor. Their activities have undermined people’s trust in the government.
President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah have vowed to ensure good governance, end corruption, reform the electoral system and judicial organs and improve women’s situation.
Ghani had so far dismissed a number of Farah officials and referred them to judicial organs following corruption allegations.


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