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Govt. renews effort to fight corruption

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PEOPLE'S WAR: A notice board asking people to send complaints against officials demanding bribe. - Photo: M. Periasamy
PEOPLE'S WAR: A notice board asking people to send complaints against officials demanding bribe. - Photo: M. Periasamy

V.S. Palaniappan

Coimbatore: To fight corruption in Government offices in the State, the Chief Secretary has issued an order directing secretaries and heads of departments to display a board in a visible place in every office containing the address, phone and fax numbers of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption and its local unit office.

The directive is that the board should contain a bi-lingual text, both in English and Tamil, which should read : "Bribe giving and receiving is an office. Complaints about demand for bribe may be made in person or over phone to the following address", The Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, NCB 21-28, P S Kumarasamy Raja Salai, Raja Annamalaipuram, Chennai 600 026. Phone numbers 044-24615929, 24615949 and 24615989 and fax number 24616070 besides the address and phone numbers of local vigilance offices.

It is a classic case of the State Government issuing an order for ensuring compliance to its order passed 10 years ago. On February 27, 1996, the Government passed a similar order asking the heads of departments to ensure that such boards are displayed. The objective of the board was to make sure that victims of corruption had easy access to information on how they should fight corruption and also to instil fear in the minds of officials and to deter them from corrupt practices. A negligible percentage of Government offices complied with the directive. The Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, K. Kathirmathiyon, wrote to the Government lamenting on the scant regard meted out to Government orders. Hence the Chief Secretary's directive to all departments to hurry up.

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