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India's anti-corruption initiative gets World Bank's praise

PTI 21 Jun 2012, 17:19:28 IST
New Delhi, June 21: The Central Vigilance Commission's e-initiative to fight corruption has received appreciation from the World Bank.

Officials said the World Bank was impressed with the technological innovation in the especially designed project of the CVC—VIG EYE—a web-based system to report corruption by uploading videos, audios or raising complaints online which was showcased during a recently organised meet in the United States to discuss ways to check graft.

The second biennial meeting of the InternationalCorruption Hunters Alliance (ICHA) was organised at World Bank headquarters in Washington and attended by representatives of 170 nations.

The ICHA, which is an initiative of the World Bank's Integrity Division, is a grouping of prosecutors, investigators, heads of anti-corruption authorities, supreme audit institutions and international organisations involved in anti-corruption activities.

The World Bank had specially invited R Sri Kumar, Vigilance Commissioner, and K Subramaniam, Director in the probity watchdog, to make a presentation on the ‘VIG EYE' complaint handling system during the conference.

“The World Bank seems to be highly impressed with the initiative of VIG EYE as a technological innovation to fight corruption. VIG EYE attracted so much attention of the conference that the cover page of the agenda booklet of the conference carried a photo of Indian woman with mobiles illustrating the use of VIG EYE,” an official said.

After the two-day conference held on June 5-6, a training workshop was organised for the participants at the George Washington University Law School, Washington on ‘stolen asset recovery'.

Officials said the participants in the workshop were impressed with the CVC initiative and asked for another presentation. The conference focused on three themes, international cooperation, national enforcement and innovation in the use of information technology in the fight against corruption.

“The good show of Project VIG EYE at the whistleblower session got a special mention from the World Bank VP Integrity at the closing session of ICHA and a request for a special performance for the World Bank select gathering again,” Sri Kumar said.

The CVC delegation participated in various thematic discussion including ones on measuring the results of anti-corruption authorities and tools and resources for sharing anti-corruption information.

The gathering was specifically shown a computer based system to address corruption in public service delivery developed by Peru, a mobile based application to report corruption in the mining of minerals developed by Democratic Republic of Congo and CVC's VIG EYE.

“Vigilance Commissioner Kumar made a detailed presentation along with live demonstration on the use of the VIG EYE complaint handling system and global project management system (GPMS).

“He highlighted how a popular and easy to use device like mobile phone can be used to report corruption along with the capture of voice and video clips as evidence,” the official said adding that the presentations were very well received by the global audiences.

The VIG EYE was launched by former Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas in December 2010 since then it has been running on a pilot basis.

“The results have been encouraging and after carrying out modifications the project would be scaled up,” the official said.