MoFAGA seeks details of foreign visits made by local reps, government staffers

Kathmandu, April 4

Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration today wrote letters to all district coordination committees, rural municipalities, municipalities, metropolis and sub-metropolis, seeking within seven days the details of foreign visits made by government employees and elected representatives.

MoFAGA issued a press release, saying it had asked the local levels and DCCs to provide details including countries government employees and representatives had visited, persons who visited foreign countries, names of sponsors, purpose of the visits and their duration, financial management of the foreign visits, what kinds of passport — individual or official — were used for the visits and whether or not the visits were sanctioned by the laws.

The ministry said that a regulation on foreign visits of the employees and elected representatives of the local levels had already been drafted, but it was in the process of being endorsed by the Cabinet.

The MoFAGA said its attention was drawn to recent foreign visits of some employees and elected representatives of local levels without getting their visits endorsed by the ministry.

The MoFAGA said all levels of governments must be careful about foreign visits as it was a sensitive matter.

The ministry also said that the rules to govern foreign visits of local level employees and representatives were under its jurisdiction.

The ministry has asked the employees and elected representatives of the local levels to take into account rationale of their visits, austerity measures, relevance and the dignity of their posts before they take a decision to visit foreign countries and they must also seek the consent of the ministry.

The ministry has asked the local levels and district coordination committees to provide details of the visits made by the government employees and local representatives within seven days.

Secretary at MoFAGA Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya told THT that his ministry wrote the letters to DDCs and local levels as constitution had stipulated that any agreement reached by local and provincial governments must be done after seeking consent of the federal government.

“Local levels must involve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs even to establish sister city relations with foreign cities but we found that some mayors and local governments’ employees were visiting foreign countries without informing the federal government,” Thapaliya said.

He said if federal government’s consent was not sought by the local governments on matters of foreign issues, then that could lead to anarchy.