Bam Dev-led authority mooted in govt’s CMP

Kathmandu, February 21

A left alliance task force headed by senior CPN-UML leader Bam Dev Gautam has recommended incorporation of ‘Development Project Execution Authority’ in the government’s common minimum programme.

The task force had submitted its report to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday.

The authority will be modelled on Malaysia’s Performance Management and Delivery Unit within three months. Gautam is likely to head the authority, according to sources.

Gautam, who is senior vice-chairman of UML, has held several ministerial portfolios, including deputy prime minister. However, in the recently-held parliamentary elections, he was defeated by Nepali Congress candidate Sanjay Gautam in Bardiya.

In Malaysia, PEMANDU is an independent body directly overseen by the prime minister’s office and is not answerable to any other government agency.

The proposed all-powerful authority will oversee implementation of mega projects that will ensure development at a faster rate and coordinate with other authorities and sectors. The authority, to be regulated by a separate act, will have an all-powerful chief executive officer.

Under the head ‘Formation of New Structures and Review of Existing Structure’, the task force has recommended that the directive committee of the authority will be headed by the prime minister. The committee will meet every 15 days.

All the ministers at the helm of development-related ministries will be members of the committee. However, the committee’s meetings will also be attended by other ministers and individuals concerned as per the agenda. The authority, however, will have a small management body.

According to the report, the authority will have a ‘special lab’ that will determine collective roles and responsibilities as per discussion with all stakeholders, including ministers, secretaries and private sector representatives. The discussion will focus on project implementation modality, resource management, resolving obstacles and coordinative role in major development projects.

To be modelled on Malaysia’s PEMANDU

  • PEMANDU, short for Performance Management and Delivery Unit, is mandated to transform Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020, through transforming public services and attracting foreign investment in the private sector. It does this by acting as an in-house government consultancy, supporting ministries in developing and implementing new solutions to transform Malaysian public services
  • PEMANDU was established in 2009 by the Malaysian prime minister
  • To strengthen its links to the political leadership, PEMANDU is governed by a board of politicians, chaired by the minister in charge of national unity and performance management
  • PEMANDU’s CEO Idris Jala had talked to Nepali lawmakers, ministers and high-level government officials on the Malaysian model of economic transformation in Kathmandu in April. He was invited to Nepal when members of the National Planning Commission visited Malaysia to study PEMANDU in January