TIB dismisses senior government official’s remark on its funding as ‘misleading’

Speaking at a workshop in Dhaka on Saturday, Ahmad Kaikaus said the TIB is funded by BHP, a controversial Australian multinational mining, metals and oil company.

The senior PMO official was responding to recent TIB findings which alleged misappropriation of Tk232.79 million in the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.

In a press note published on Sunday, the TIB said the Prime Minister’s principal secretary had somehow confused the results of his investigation into the average bribe of Tk 69 to obtain a dose of vaccine with the overall diversion gross, which is misleading.

“The results of the investigation, published in our conclusions on April 12, do not correlate with the data we had published on the diversion,” it read.

According to a Guardian report published in February, BHP, the world’s largest mining group, which previously claimed to have obtained ministerial permission to destroy up to 40 sites of cultural significance to the country’s Aboriginal people, recently significantly reduced its operations in the Pilbara. region of Western Australia.

The move follows outrage from its investors over its mining plans and subsequently pledged not to damage any of the sites without “thorough consultation” with the indigenous owners.

Kaikaus said, “Why are you taking money from them while calling us thieves? Is this a joke?”

The secretary admitted that “some” corruption takes place at the lower level of government offices, but asserted that senior officials are not involved in corruption.

“It hurts when you question our honesty after working honestly.”

For future reference, TIB said it was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation.

What was in the study?

According to the TIB study, more than 22% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Bangladesh faced irregularities at health facilities.

They paid between 400 and 10,000 Tk extra and suffered from the misbehavior and indifference of employees in providing information in public hospitals while agents pushed patients to seek treatment in private facilities.

Of the 22.2% of patients who encountered irregularities, 61% experienced delay, 34.1% reported staff absence or negligence, misconduct and non-cooperation, and 24.4% did not. have not obtained information about the services.

On top of that, 12.2% paid extra fees and were harassed by officers, according to the report.

The TIB said 15% of patients faced irregularities in coronavirus testing while 26.1% encountered problems when administering samples.

The survey found that health protocols were not maintained at 68.6% of COVID-19 testing centers; 17.3% of patients returned home after being delayed during sample distribution and 16.7% faced misbehavior and 10.3% were forced to travel to centers multiple times.

The average waiting time for a test report was 2.5 days and a maximum of 9 days, according to the survey.

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