South Asia

Published: Sunday 15 January 2006

unhygienic food: A judicial magistrate of Haripur in Pakistan recently arrested 11 senior officials of different food manufacturing industries of Hattar Industrial Estate, for violating food laws and spreading infection by not maintaining cleanliness in their industries. The magistrate also registered cases against the general manager and two production managers of Shezan Food Industry, Hattar, for causing obstruction in the work of the visiting magistrate and other officials of food and police departments. During a surprise visit to different oil, food and beverage manufacturing industries of Hattar Estate, the judge found the industries were not meeting the food norms and their products were unhygienic. The magistrate ordered registration of cases against senior managers of these factories and also their arrest on the spot.

whistleblowing helps: Whistleblowers in Bangladesh have reported 18 cases against several individuals and organisations. Irregularities and related frauds in tendering, misuse of public resources for personal benefit, mismanagement of public institutions, fraud in engineering, administerial lapses, non-payment of bills, misuse of public properties, fraud in travel ticketing, unfairness in government house allotments were some reported cases. These were done in response to the Royal Audit Authority's (RAA) fraud alert system on its website, in December 2004, encouraging whistle blowers to report cases of corruption in the country. "Most cases were found to be genuine," said the auditor general. Special investigation were carried for some while others were verified during annual auditing and substantial recoveries made. The reports submitted by whistleblowers were accessible only to the auditor general and a high degree of confidentiality was maintained. Whistleblowers had been either informing the RAA in writing, through phone calls, or even going to the RAA office in person. The benefit of Whistleblowing was not just reporting wrongdoers but making people refrain from getting involved in corrupt practices due to fears of being reported and strict action taken against them.

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