Kathmandu, August 11
The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority arrested Umesh Mandal, a sub-engineer of Nagarain Municipality, red-handed while accepting bribe of Rs 55,000 from a service-seeker in Dhanusha today. CIAA Spokesperson Pradip Kumar Koirala said Mandal took the bribe for facilitating the service-seeker in receiving payment for completed projects.
On Thursday, the anti-graft body had arrested Giriraj Koirala, chief administrative officer of Purbanchal University. He was caught while receiving Rs 675,000 in bribe from a service-seeker in Kathmandu. The university official had sought the bribe to resolve the problems faced by the PU students.
According to statistics maintained by the CIAA, it arrested at least 41 persons with bribe during sting operations conducted at different places of the country over a period of less than one month of the current fiscal. The CIAA arrested 200 persons red-handed with the bribe money they received from service-seekers in fiscal 2018-19 compared to 154 in fiscal 2017-18. It is the highest number of arrests made by the anti-graft body in a year. The anti-graft body said one person was arrested with bribe on an average of 2.07 working days during the fiscal 2018-19.
Despite repeated warnings by the CIAA against the public post holders about its intensified sting operation, bribery continues unabated at government offices.
A report published by the CIAA recently stated that it mobilised its employees in corruption-prone public offices, posing as service-seekers for integrity test of the concerned officials. “Micro-surveillance and rapid action procedures were implemented to swing into action against government employees involved in irregularities and corruption. It is expected to improve the public service delivery system by controlling corrupt tendency of officials,” said Spokesperson Koirala.
The anti-graft body said it had also strengthened its information analysis unit to pursue reform, transparency and good governance in the public service sector.
A survey conducted by the CIAA on ‘Status of Corruption and Good Governance in Nepal-2019’ has categorically identified fourteen public offices, which are most corruption-sensitive and where services are denied without bribe.
The top fourteen government offices prone to corruption include and revenue office, survey office, inland revenue office, municipality/rural municipality office, water supply office, district administration office, district education office, transport management office, district police office, district agriculture development office, Nepal Telecom, land reform office, cottage and small industries office and road division office.
The 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International on January 29 warned that continued failure of most countries, including Nepal, to curb corruption was contributing to crisis of democracy around the world.
A version of this article appears in print on August 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.