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Good Governance

Good Governance

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Assignment On Good Governance: Meaning, Barriers and its establishment in our society

Submitted To M. kazi Tamim Rahman Lecturer Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology Faculty of Business Administration and Management

Submitted By Shofiq uddin khan Roll no. 023; reg. no.00682 Level-3, semester-2 Session: 2004-05 Faculty of Business Administration and Management

Patuakhali science and Technology University

Chapters Summary Chapter I Introduction to Good Governance Chapter II Establishment of Good Governance in Bangladesh Chapter III Barriers of Good Governance in Bangladesh Chapter IV Conclusion and Recommendation s

Topic Head

Meaning of Governance Meaning of Good Governance Features of Good Governance Good Governance and Bangladesh

Impediments toward Good Governance in Bangladesh

Conclusion Recommendations



The terms government and governance are currently in widespread use sometimes interchangeably. Particularly governance is a new buzzword, which is connected with functionality, process, goals performance co-ordination, outcomes, consultants, engagement and societal guidance. The word “Good Governance” is wide in use as to create a condition and effective promotion of participation, accountability, transparency and responsiveness of the government. In the context of globalization the issue of good governance has gained a pivotal concern and has also been given paramount importance in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Bangladesh government has adopted a number of policies to ensure democratic governance through development planning (developing a requirement of future actions consciously/caring environment) to reduce the poverty. Ensuring good governance, sustainable development and reducing the poverty in rural areas are the formidable challenges in Bangladesh. In response to this need, training course for functionaries of nation building organizations at district and Upazila level as well as the NGO professionals who are working at the grassroots level might be an impressive step in continuing the development process.

Meaning of Governance

There is no doubt that today governance has become the focal discourse of contemporary development and got serious attention from development practitioners, policymakers, policy analysts and international development agencies both in Bangladesh and across the globe. Though its importance has got universal acceptance, it is not defined in a uniform way by the theoreticians and practitioners. Even, there is no widely accepted single definition of governance itself. In simple wording, governance refers to 'the process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented)'. In its broader perspective governance involves actions of publicly vested authorities. However, the concern of all and any governance analyses moves around three fundamental questions: What, How and How well. The concept of governance is not new. It is as old as of social life human civilization. When humans started to live in the society or social life the concept started. There was no social system in the world when governance was not implemented, either good or bad. After much change in the course of time, we have got the present figure of governance. An analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal factors involved in decision making and implementing the decisions made and the formal and informal structures that have been

set in place. Government is one of the factors in governance. Other factors involved in governance vary depending on the level of government that is under discussion. At the national level, can be added the media, lobbyists, international donors, multinationals corporations etc. These all may play a role in decision making or influencing the decision making process. The relationship between good governance and democracy could be seen in a linear way. However, democracy not only makes a difference, but it would also be the basic ingredient and major prerequisite for all other items included in the core characteristics of good governance. All factors other than government and the military are grouped together as part of the civil society.

Meaning of Good Governance

Governance can be viewed both in positive and negative terms (1) Good governance and (2) Poor governance. Good governance means an ideal governing system that is inevitable for political, economic, social and cultural development of a country. It is the ideal orientation of a state that works best to achieve self-reliance, sustainable development and social justice. According to V.K. Chopra, good governance is, "a system of governance that is able to unambiguously identify the basic values of the society where values are economic, political and socio-culture issues including human rights, and pursue these values through an accountable and honest administration."

Features of Good Governance

Good Governance consists of 8 major characteristics. These are: 1. Participation, 2. Rule of Law, 3.Transparency, 4. Consensus, 5. Equity and Inclusiveness, 6. Effectiveness and Efficiency, 7. Responsiveness and 8. Accountability. These criteria assure that: Corruption is minimized The views of minorities are taken into account The voice of the most vulnerable in society is heard in decision making It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.

A key cornerstone of good governance is participation by both men and women. Participation needs to be informed and organized. Involving all groups of stakeholders and taking into due consideration their opinions. It could be either direct or through legitimate intermediate institutions or representatives.

Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially Most important point is full protection of human rights particularly those of minorities Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible police force.

It means that decisions taken and their enforcement are done in a manner that follows rules and regulations Information flow must be free and directly accessible to those who will be affected by such decisions and their enforcement.

Enough information is provided and that are provided in easily understandable forms and media.

Good governance requires that institutions and process try to serve all stakeholders within a reasonable timeframe.

It requires a broad and long-term perspective on what is needed for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development. Good governance requires mediation of different interests to reach a broad consensus in society on what is in the best interest of the whole community and how this can be achieved. EQUITY AND INCLUSIVENESS It must ensure that society's all members feel that they all have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream of society. This requires all groups but especially the most vulnerable in society should have opportunity to improve or maintain their wellbeing.

This meets the needs of society by efficient process and institutions produce result while making the best use of resources at their disposal. Efficiency also covers the protection of environment and sustainable use of natural resources.

Government institutions as well as private sectors must be accountable to the public about their respective acts.

Organizations and institutions have to be concerned about those who will be affected by their decisions or actions. Accountability has to be imposed on every steps of society.

Good Governance and Bangladesh

Before going to the discussion of needed reforms in governance field according to my thought' I would focus on the criteria-wise picture of good governance in Bangladesh.

Though participation is a key cornerstone of good governance, in Bangladesh participation of both men and women is not yet equal. In the UN Millennium Report 2006, the Secretary General emphasized that "better governance means greater participation. For Bangladesh participation is important for three basic reasons: Firstly: Active participation creates an opportunity to get a better picture of the reality on the ground, which greatly helps in project design. Secondly: Through participation a development agency can gather and knowledge on important issues. Thirdly: It helps give a sense of ownership of the project to the community, which significantly contributes to sustainability. It should be necessary to involve all groups of stakeholders and take into due consideration their opinions and views in all stages of project cycle from design through monitoring and evolution. In our country many development projects have been notorious for their 'top-down' approach to designing and lack of genuine willingness to involve the poor in the management of such project.

In Bangladesh judiciary is not free from bureaucratic dominance and corruption. It is entangled with administration. Now the reform of the judiciary is the most important point of good governance. Nowadays it is like a longstanding demand of the civil society to separate the judiciary from the administration. Judicial system must have a positive impact because it is a way by which the rule of law and justice in the society has to be ensured. If the judicial system is not transparent, it is impossible to maintain human rights, particularly those of the minorities. For maintaining good governance, the rule of law also needs an impartial and incorruptible police force what we still do not have.

Transparency is a keyword of good governance. Both private and government sectors should be transparent, especially for those who are affected by such decision and their enforcement. Recently, an independent Anti-Corruption Commission has been introduced to prevent corruption. The commission's main target is to ensure transparency. But the commission has failed to fulfill the target because it is dependent on the government for its financial support that may put some pressure on them from the government side. The President can appoint the head of the commission who is appropriate for it and ensure a good environment by which the commission will work independently without fear and favor. I think transparency should be in every sector of governance such as the rule of law, justice, election commission and work plan what is made by the actors of the governance.

Responsiveness is one of the prime components of good governance. Nowadays it is also a prime concern of development critics, practitioners and of course the general people. Earlier it was discussed

on what philosophy a state is formed and on which principle a government runs. The PSR as being representatives of the government and as being the servants of the people take oath to serve the people. This is expected not only because the people just elect or select them. The people also carry the expenses of the PSR and pay taxes beyond their salaries. So both legally and ethically they are bound to serve the people with their best effort.

It is a big question, how much it is possible to arrive at a general consensus for any matter in a country, where illiteracy is widespread; public opinion is easily influenced by the social and political elite. Another big problem is the lack of proper technique and methodology to find out a general agreement.

The picture of governance in this criterion is more disappointing. With days passing by common people in Bangladesh are getting more and more unconcerned about state decisions and rather getting to feel themselves helpless only to accept whatever comes in their fate. So, people are becoming more and more individualized having very little care for the society in large. When this is the deep-rooted situation of us, we have miles to go to claim a level of equity and inclusiveness.

Though in line with modern time we are getting habituated with technology widely, still we are not overcoming the age-old raggedness and inefficiency. Efficiency is not only at the apparent level of the things; it should be rather in the very act of handling the crises and managing the systems systematically.


If accountability is found in every sector, transparency also will work. It is very important for our country at this time. It is possible to fight against corruption by implementing a strong accountability system. It is fully helpful to reduce corruption from government bodies and it will definitely help increase economic growth and reduce poverty. The reality is very different from the above written words. In almost all organizations, accountability along the organizational hierarchy exists; although question remains about their effectiveness. However, accountability towards below hardly exists in many organizations. Unless systems are developed and put in place to ensure accountability towards below it may become difficult to achieve desired result.

Impediments toward Good Governance in Bangladesh

At present, Good governance in Bangladesh is far from the actual consonance of the term. There are several factors and issues that are constraining the very process of good governance. The major factors are corruption, inefficiency of bureaucracy, politicization of administration, non-observance of the rule of law etc. The main issues and problems for ensuring good governance in Bangladesh are bellows: a) Corruption Corruption is a big obstacle in the way of good governance in Bangladesh. Corruption has become so rampant that Bangladesh currently belongs to the world's leading corrupt nations. It promotes the interest of a few ovel many rampant corruption slow down the investment and growth. It prevented a fair distribution of national wealth and broadened the gap between rich and poor. Which is most dangerous is that it is mainly responsible for the breakdown of law and order in the country.

b) Inefficiency of Bureaucracy Bureaucracy is inevitable in any society or state, an inseparable part of an organized society. But the bureaucracy of Bangladesh is not efficient in management and administration. The capacity of policy implementation of our bureaucracy is very poor. Bureaucrats are not accountable and transparent to the people. Lack of bureaucratic accountability can be attributed inter-alia to bureaucratic corruption. But there is no effective mechanism to make them accountable and transparent. c) Political interference in administration In our country administration is always to work and the influence of party in power. So, here nepotism is widespread and administration is always unfair. The administration can not take any free and fair decision. Sometimes, political influence breech factionalism in the administration which in turn results in demoralization, utter negligence of work and often serious tension among the bureaucrats. Ministers, especially those with greater political strength and influence and initiative, tended to stress their overall supervisory role to dominate and direct those in administration who versed under them, from secretaries downwards. In such situations the ministers virtually inclined to act as executive heads of their ministries, though they did not have to take the responsibilities either of the executive head or the principal accounting officer responsibilities which still technically and substantially remained with the secretaries. d) Nepotism Nepotism is another curse of our politics and administration. The rules in our country pursue nepotism. They give privilege and under advantage to their family members, kiths and kins on public resources. So the mass people remain after regime. e) Improper and non-observance of the rule of law In true and real sense the application of rule of law in Bangladesh follows a course of selective and discretionary application. It is said

that laws are there but there are applied only in favor of privilege people or class. As a result justices suffer and denied to the common people. And this environment affects out right the basic rights of the poor and the social place elides although that is an important aspect of good governance. f) Improper use of resources The fund flow in Bangladesh is not smooth the local government, especially the union Parishad. Beside, this fund is not utilized properly and very often diverted to other purposes. So, the ordinary people can not get efforts, if any, of ensuring good governance.


In a developing country for good governance the fight against corruption is not easy. Bangladesh after 1/11/07 has experienced a big leap towards fighting corruption. It is expected the present caretaker government, patriot citizens and other stakeholders will be able to address the most difficult challenge – fighting corruption. Corruption is a tremendous deterrent to good governance and development, and its burden falls heaviest on the shoulders of the poor people. An effective Anti-Corruption Commission – with strong political backing, can become a credible tool to deter corruption. All concerned should help the ACC to be fully operative. If Bangladesh wants to become a country free of poverty and economically strong, where every citizen will enjoy his or her rights and a better quality life, fighting corruption is the most important need. It is the responsibility of every stakeholder to respond to this need towards corruption free, transparent, participatory good governance ensuring equity and social justice. In Bangladesh , it is evident that the present condition of governance is not satisfactory. Many issues and problems are the barriers to ensure good governance , equity and social justice . Corruption, political interference in administration, nepotism, misuse of power, absence of rule of law, non-accountable and non-transparent government etc. are

the common features of our governance. Although a lot of measures may be taken for ensuring good governance, it is high time to make our autocratic parliament a democratic one. And re-engineer the role of the dictatorial Prime Minister to a democratic one. In the interest of good governance, time has come for us to think about amending the black law(Article 70 of the constitution) to curve its abuse and free the public representatives to voice peoples aspiration in the parliament. Public opinion should be mobilized to discourage boycotting of Parliament and make the Parliament fully functional and democratic by making the speaker system a non-partisan institution. It is also necessary to make the ministers accountable to the parliament members while discharging their executive roles to make the parliament truly democratic. Re-engineering is also required to make the MPs the key actors of the parliament instead of the ministers by making the parliamentary standing committees more powerful, effective and functional. All the standing committees of the parliament must be formed and made fully functional by the third session of any elected parliament. To ensure increased accountability and set the culture of resignation due to failure or inefficiency of ministers, legal provisions should be made so that cabinet ministers has to render resignation if no confidence motion is moved by one third members of the parliaments of which one third must be from the ruling party. It is required to make the parliament effective and functional and center of all debates. On the other hand, the opposition, civil society and social groups and organizations also have the moral obligations to help and co-operate the government in establishing good governance. But after 1/11/07 discussions are tabled that constitutional amendments are necessary to bring checks and balance of powers between the President, Prime minister and Speaker of the country. To make the parliament democratic, functional, effective measures should be taken to make the speaker panel a institution above partisan standing. Further brain storming is required whether a national security council can play an even positive role in maintaining balance of power as it is said - Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

My cogitation towards a good governing system in Bangladesh contains the following steps need to be taken immediately.

The weakness of the Election Commission and its lack of independence have been so inherent and endemic that Bangladesh Constitution needed the 13th amendment in order to introduce provision for caretaker government. Besides the provision for caretaker government during the general elections there is also need forAn independent and neutral body having its credibility on its own right beyond any reproach Fund and budget of the EC Staff and personnel to be recruited by the commission itself Support to training institutes Improving voter education programmes Computerization of the electoral roll Independence of the media in the election process Strengthening the capacity of EC enable it to perform its role effectively.

To establish the rule of law in Bangladesh the following steps should be taken: Except the mode of appointment the independence of our higher judiciary is ensured. But the independence of lower judiciary, particularly of the magistrate courts is not ensured because these

courts are run by the executive. So, to ensure its independence it should be separated from the executive. The independence of other lower courts can be ensured by amending the Article 116 to the following effect: "The control (including the power of posting, promotion and grants of leave) and discipline of persons employed in the judicial service and judicial magistrates shall vest in the Supreme Court". The Article 33 of Bangladesh Constitution allows the government to use the provision of preventive detention in peace time. As a result, a huge number of persons are detained every year without trial purely for political purpose. So this provision should be reformed to be applied only in time of emergency. Article 93 of the Constitution allows the President to promulgate ordinances anytime during the recesses of parliament sessions. And in practice a huge number of ordinances are promulgated bypassing the parliament. Ordinance-made laws are fully undemocratic since they are made by the executive almost in an unrestricted way. These laws are, therefore, contrary to the concept of rule of law. So this provision is also needed to be reformed so that it cannot be used unless there occurs any emergency situation like national crisis, national calamity, severe economic deflation etc. Article 141A of the Constitution empowers the president to declare emergency whenever he wishes. But by declaring emergency in peace time the government can suspend fundamental rights and suppress the opposition movement. This amounts to avow arbitrary exercise of power on the part of the government which is contradictory to the concept of rule of law. So this provision is also needed to be reformed, so that it can only be applied in war time situations only.


To remove the difficulties and institutionalize this bureaucracy and make public administration accountable following measures should be taken immediately: Standing committees on Ministries should be institutionalized and allowed to work independently in full swing so that the bureaucrats at every Ministry come under the direct of parliament. The constitutional independence and autonomy for the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor-General) must be ensured so that it can independently work in the way to make bureaucrats accountable in respect of financial matter and to monitor their financial responsibilities A department of Ombudsman should immediately be created which will work as an all-time watchdog against maladministration, red-tapism and inefficiency in the bureaucracy Unconstitutional laws dealing with the functions and formation of constitutional bodies like CAG, PSC, local government, EC etc must be replaced by democratic laws allowing them to independently in furtherance of better administrative accountability. The larger the government, the wider is its reach. The wider the reach of the executive, more the likelihood of public harassment; more the likelihood of bureaucratic corruption. Government has, therefore should be shrunk; in the present context where multinational foreign investment is involved in the exploration of oil and gas, and the generation of power, there cannot be any justification for restricting our own private sector from importing and distributing various products like petroleum etc. monopolies such as BPC (Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation) which bring no public benefit should be abolished. There are many other instances where the state must be sold back. Reduction in state intervention should be the prime principle of reform. Whenever possible government executive should be branched out to agencies and the private sector is allowed to participate in creating a competitive atmosphere.

The functioning of the PSC must be strengthened and it should be chaired by an expert opposition MP particularly one who had been previously a Finance Minister. Proper functioning of the PSC will ensure the financial responsibility of bureaucrats in every ministry Reports of the PSC must be dealt with a standing committee as in parliament and the compliance of the commission's report must be ensured through the scrutiny of the committee system To control delegated law making by the bureaucrats a standing committee should be set up and a instrument act should be made

To institutionalize local government following initiatives should be takenIn accordance with the provisions of Article 11, 59 and 60 of the Constitution local government institutions should be set up for ensuring people's participation. Every tier of local government should be autonomous and maximum devolution of power to be made to the local government Local governments institutions should be made free from government interference except audit and inceptions of funds provided by the governments In accordance with the provisions in Article 59(1) of the Constitution the local government administrations and officials must be vested in control of the local government and not under the control of the central government as present provision provide, because a centralized administration tends by nature to be more bureaucratic The term of office of chairman of local bodies should be reduced to 2 years instead of 5 years to make the office of chairman less attractive to moneyed candidates, but more attractive to dedicated persons

Political problems are supposed to be the root cause of poor governance in Bangladesh. Because political parties who ultimately governs the country contains the following problems: There are more than 100 political parties in Bangladesh but very few of them have definite ideology or programmes to be followed by supporters and future generations. Though one or two parties have ideologies and programmes, the leaders often defy them for their own gain. Each major party is headed by a person who is omnipotent in the management of the party, including the formation of central and executive committees. The constitutions of most of the parties are absolutely monolithic in nature. The basic reason behind almost all the problems is the illiterate and politically unconscious people behind the scene who are supplying the real force into the body polity of Bangladesh. To get rid of this problem we need to make our people educated and politically conscious. And to do that here again comes the question of dedicated leadership. So for the sake of democracy in the country the following steps should be taken by leaders The hereditary nature of leadership should be abolished and the party constitution should be amended to allow change in leadership after each specified term The party structure and committees should be filled only by elections and this will encourage as well as develop leadership from the grassroots- level The post of party president and the leader of the parliamentary party should not be held by the same person. Ministers must be barred from holding any party office. This will ensure the entity of the party as an institution of democracy on one hand, and on the other, the party will be in a position to exercise a sort of control

over the government or the parliamentary party so that they do not deviate from their party mandate or manifesto What is urgently needed now is to play an effective role by some of our MPs or political leaders who are really sincere, educated and devoted to the institutionalization of parliamentary democracy; they should from their respective parties, whenever and whatever way possible, consistently create a sort of genuine pressure so that Khaleda-Hasina cannot take any arbitrary or dictatorial actions to destroy democracy. Although a lot of measures need to be taken for ensuring good governance. I hope, if sincere efforts can be taken for implementing the above-mentioned steps then good governance will be ensured. On the other extreme, the opposition, civil society and social groups and organizations also have the moral obligations to help and cooperate with the governments in this juncture.


1. Khan, M.M., "Urban local Governance in Bangladesh: An overview",

Journal of Administration and Diplomacy, Vol.4, No.1 Jan-Jun, p.1, 1996. 2. Husain, Saddat, "Good Governance-A case for training Intervention", Proshikhyan, Journal of Bangladesh society for training and development (BSTD), vol.2, No.1, p.2, Jan-Jun, 1995. 3. Graham, J.; Amos, B. and Plumptre T., "Principles for Good Governance in the 21st century", http://www.unpan.org/whatsnew_bulletin.asp, August 2003.

4. Chowdhury Dilara, "Legislature and governance in Bangladesh",

Governance-(South Asian perspective), eds; Hye, Hasnat A., the university press Limited: Dhaka-1100, p.49, 2000. 5. http://www.unescap.org/huset/gg/governance.htm

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