‘Quick buck making mentality promoting graft’

Kathmandu, December 9

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority registered 170 cases of corruption in the current fiscal 2019-20.

The CIAA finding is that employees of government offices established with special and specific purposes are also indulging in corruption. When analysing corruption charge sheets registered by the CIAA at the Special Court of late, some people were found to have been amassing property in an unusual way.

A non-gazetted first class officer has been found accumulating property worth Rs 148 million during his official career while an accountant at the Transport Management Department has been found to have amassed property worth Rs 620 million.

CIAA Chief Commissioner Nabeen Kumar Ghimire said audiovisual clips collected from some offices suggested that corruption was rampant in the country. “Mentality of making a quick buck to become millionaire upon joining the service is highly prevalent,” he said, underlining the need to cultivate integrity and control corruption.

In his address at a programme organised by the CIAA on the occasion of International Anti-corruption Day here today, the chief commissioner said, “The CIAA is studying the economic status of over 15,000 senior and other government employees.”

Rapid Action Taskforce has been targeting offices facing an increased flow of service seekers. Besides, such offices are under the CIAA surveillance through other mechanisms. He also said that during the last fiscal, CIAA had registered 251  corruption cases at the Special Court and got success in 88 per cent of the cases. He further said that in case of offices related to public procurement, chief and secretary should be held more responsible for controlling corruption and culture of avoiding responsibility must be discouraged.

According to the CIAA, test laboratory has been established in Bardibas and Nepalgunj to maintain the standard in construction projects by averting the possibility of substandard construction materials and other non-standard procedures. Such type of laboratory will be established in other places as well.

In the past, increased number of complaints were related to the bodies under the Ministry of Education, but lately more complaints  about irregularities are related to local governments, according to him. He added that last year, it had carried out monitoring of 1,848 projects and gave suggestions to the government. Some suggestions were implemented and contract agreements of some snail-paced projects were cancelled.

It was a matter of concern that Nepal continues to make its presence in the higher position of the corruption list. “We are committed to improving the status by 10 per cent in the next five years.” Nepal was ranked 124 in Corruption Perception Index-2018 as per the study conducted by Transparency International, falling from 122 in 2017.

Chief Commissioner Ghimire underscored the need to seriously internalise the service-oriented mentality. He shared that efforts were under way to curb political interference in Public Procurement.

The CIAA, on the occasion, made public its five-year institutional strategy beginning from the current fiscal. The plan underlines preventive, curative, promotional and institutional capacity building.