CIAA tells local bodies to adhere to Public Procurement Act

Most complaints are of offices related to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration

Kathmandu, December 8

As the number of complaints made by people on various irregularities has started rising, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) — the country’s anti-graft body — has urged all local bodies to follow the Public Procurement Act.

Releasing an investigation report on December 1, the CIAA had said that local bodies have been involved in numerous irregularities in collusion with local consumer committees and their officials. “They have not bothered to follow the basic criteria that the law states and have been disbursing funds to contractors and other stakeholders in a haphazard manner,” the report states.

As per CIAA, consumer committees are being provided payments by local authorities in advance even before any work

has started. It also mentioned that the local bodies have been finalising reports of projects even before the concerned projects have been completed.

Pradip Kumar Koirala, spokesperson for CIAA, said they have already directed all the local bodies to follow the proper laws, including the Local Government Operation Act and Public Procurement Act and its directives and guidelines, among others.

“We found that local bodies and their stakeholders are involved in various development works on mutual understanding and in a non-transparent manner. So, we have directed them to act as per law and urged them to immediately terminate the contracts of projects where there are irregularities and start a new bidding process as soon as possible,” said Koirala. “We have also asked them to take action against the erring consumer committees.”

As per Koirala, they have received the highest number of complaints about irregularities at the offices related to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, which oversees the affairs of the local governments.

The report also stated that the local bodies are using heavy equipment for minor works which could have been completed by utilising local human resources. Furthermore, the

Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has stated that the equipment are not being leased in a competitive manner.

“The local bodies are working in a very irresponsible manner and if we do not put an end to this trend immediately it will give rise to further anomalies in development works,” Koirala stated.

After the local elections were held after a gap of 20 years in 2017, it was largely expected that elected representatives would be accountable to the people and governance would improve.

But, the CIAA investigation report has shown that they are still immature to handle their development works and are not following good governance practices.

As per the report, the local bodies have not bothered to listen to the needs of the people and are not utilising local human and natural resources.

They have also not done anything substantial that would help promote entrepreneurship at the local level, among other issues, the report states.