Patna, Feb. 10: Fighting corruption is now just a phone call away. Dial 9304220023, and help from the advocacy and legal advice centre (ALAC) of the India chapter of Transparency International (TI) will be on your way.
Functional from Saturday, the ALAC will be the first of its kind unit of TI in India. To ensure those willing to take help of this initiative do not face any hassle, TI decided to start the helpline (9304220023) service from tomorrow.
Transparency International is a globally known organisation working to weed out corruption from the society.
“Though we have launched two helplines in the past — one each in Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand, which too help people facing problems because of corruption, the Bihar centre would be the first of its kind from us and it would be a full-fledged office,” TI India chapter executive director Anupama Jha told The Telegraph today.
The ALAC’s role would not be limited to provide free legal advice to those coming for help. It would also play a pro-active role if required and would use the right to information tool for procuring information for those facing corruption-related problems.
“In addition to helping people, we will also provide feedback to the government on the basis of data generated from people’s complaints coming to us so that the government could take corrective steps for ushering in systemic reforms to check corruption,” Jha said.
TI has made an elaborate arrangement for this task and a well-trained person has been deputed to handle the data related work at ALAC.
“We are going to use the latest technological tools for generating authentic data on the basis of which government would be pursued to take corrective steps,” Jha said.
She said the TI secretariat had provided funds for opening three such centres in India — one each in Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand.
Giving reasons for choosing Bihar to open the first ALAC of the country, she said the selection was made on the basis of approach of the government in taking steps for taming corruption. “There is a huge scope as far as improving the governance is concerned and as the state government is open to such initiatives we decided to start this initiative from this state,” said the TI executive director.
In addition to this initiative, the TI’s India chapter will organise a conference on February 11 in the state capital on “Integrity Pact: Tool to Check Corruption in Public Procurement”.
Integrity pact is a tool, developed by Transparency International in 1990s, to help governments, businesses and civil societies to fight corruption in public contract and procurement. It contains rights and obligations to the effect, that neither side will pay, offer, demand or accept bribes, or collude with competitors to obtain the contract, or while carrying it out.
“We have invited ministers, senior bureaucrats, people from the civil society and journalists to the conference so that we could appraise them of the utility of the tool,” Jha said.