Labour inspectorate reform process continues

Institutional reform the Bangladesh Labour Inspectorate is continuing as it evolves into a more effective regulatory body.

Workshop participants led by DIFE Inspector General Syed Ahmed (seated centre)
Senior management of the Department of Inspections for Factories and Establishments (DIFE) joined ILO staff recently to discuss ongoing institutional reform of DIFE.

A Labour Inspection Strategic Planning Workshop took place in Savar 7-8 March 2016. During the event the Labour Inspection Management Reform Roadmap was revised and updated. The DIFE governance structure and organogram were also discussed. This included roles and responsibilities as well as establishment of management processes and various technical units.

Speaking at the event, Nancy Leppink, Chief of ILO’s Labour Administration, Labour Inspection and Occupational Safety and Health Branch said, “DIFE was originally responding to a disaster. Moving on, DIFE is now building an organisational structure that not only responds to crises but can also create a culture of prevention to improve compliance and to promote decent work. This is the evolution of an organisation as it matures.”

The reform roadmap to improve decent working conditions in Bangladesh through the strengthening of the labour administration and inspection system was first developed in 2014 by DIFE, with the support of ILO’s RMG programme funded by Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

During the meeting, progress and challenges in implementing the roadmap were discussed. Emerging priorities and key medium and long-term activities were also considered in the context of recommendations from the October 2015 Committee of Experts Mission on Labour Inspection as well as the January 2016 Sustainability Compact Review.

ILO’s RMG programme manager Tuomo Poutiainen said, “There is a growth in the leadership of DIFE with a new layer of management, priorities and expectations. DIFE can now take the reins and govern its own destiny. It is now better equipped to have a more mature plan of action and then align donor support to what it has decided to do, rather than what other partners want it to do.”

Amongst the priorities discussed included the implementation of IT systems to support the labour inspectorate in its work.

“I want to digitalise all activities. This will help ensure the transparency and accountability. If we can digitalise it will also decrease the cost of services,” said Syed Ahmed, DIFE Inspector General.