Nepal | August 09, 2020

Security Printing Bill registered in National Assembly stipulates reliable service

Himalayan News Service
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The Security Printing Bill registered by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in the National Assembly on July 8 stipulates the provision of a security printing centre.

As per the bill, the centre shall be an autonomous body. The functions, duties and power of the centre include arrangement, preparation and printing of security materials; making reliable security arrangements for the printing press; participation in national and global tender with regard to providing security printing service; obtaining membership of international corporate bodies related to security printing; and formulating and implementing necessary policies to make security printing reliable.

Section 18 of the bill states that the Government of Nepal shall appoint an executive director to act as an administrative head of the centre.

Tenure of the executive director shall be of five years. However, the government may remove him/her from the post at any time if s/he fails to perform as per the contract, indulges in immoral activities, leaks confidential information of security printing to unauthorised persons and acts against the interest of the government.

Any person with master’s degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or management from a recognised university along with at least seven years of work experience at the managerial level shall be eligible to apply for the post of executive director.

It requires the executive director to enter into a performance contract with the secretary at MoCIT. According to the bill, there will also be a seven-member steering committee led by the secretary to approve the policy, plan, budget and programme of the centre; determine fee of security printing; coordinate with the concerned agencies for security of the centre; develop and implement the code of ethics for employees of the centre; and carry out monitoring and evaluation of administrative business of the centre.

“After the commencement of this law, the centre shall have the exclusive power to manufacture or import press machine, instrument, equipment, watermark or security thread paper and other materials,” it reads. However, the government may allow other persons or organisations to carry out work related to security materials except citizenship certificate, passports and bank notes.

“Anyone who produces or imports watermark or security thread paper that looks similar to those used by the centre shall be liable to imprisonment for three years or fine up to Rs 300,000 or both, in addition to confiscation of such materials,” reads the bill.

Anyone who leaks confidential information about specification of security printing materials and provides materials related to security printing to unauthorised persons, shall be liable to a jail sentence ranging from one year to three years and fine up to Rs 300,000 or both.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on July 12, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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