‘Issue recommendation letters for consular attestation’

Kathmandu, August 18

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration has issued a circular to all local levels, directing them to provide recommendation letters to service-seekers for consular attestation of such documents by the Department of Consular Service, as per the Local Government Operation Act-2017.

Section Officer Chiranjeevi Nepal at Local Level Coordination Section of MoFAGA said the circular was issued on Sunday to all metropolitan cities, sub-metropolitan cities, municipalities and rural municipalities in response to a letter from the DoCS, which said recommendation letters being provided by ward offices of local levels regarding financial condition of their service-seekers were incomplete and unclear to be worthy for consular attestation.

The ward offices usually state in the recommendation letters that ‘the concerned service-seeker has/hasn’t income source, moveable and immovable property in the country’ before their submission to the concerned agencies of foreign countries. In some cases, ward offices were found issuing recommendation letters for consular attestation by mentioning false details in favour of service-seekers.

“It should be clearly mentioned in the recommendation letter whether the service-seeker has/hasn’t movable and immovable property in the country. A copy of tax clearance certificate has to be attached while providing details of his/her property,” DoCS said. Recommendation letters are mainly sought by service-seekers from ward offices of local levels to apply for refugee ID card countries and permanent residency in foreign countries.

The DoCS has the responsibility of maintaining effective coordination with Nepali missions abroad in providing legal assistance, compensation and insurance amount to the heirs of Nepalis undertaking various jobs and professions in foreign countries, rescue stranded Nepali abroad and repatriate bodies of Nepalis.

These tasks are performed on the basis of documents issued by the concerned local levels.

Earlier, the MoFAGA had directed all local levels to send to DoCS the specimen signature of officials who sign in documents issued by rural municipality or municipality or ward office.

The DoCS sought specimen signatures of authorised signatories of the local level officers after some of the documents purportedly issued by them were found to be fake.

Rackets involved in producing fake government documents like recommendation letters, citizenship certificate, driving licence, academic credential and migration certificate, among others, are still active to make a quick buck despite crackdown.

The specimen signature of local level officials, who sign in the documents to be submitted to the DoCS for attestation, will help the concerned authorities verify the authenticity of the documents and prevent forgery of government seal and signature.

The DoCS will attest the documents issued by the local levels only if the signatures affixed in the documents match the specimen signatures obtained from the concerned metropolitan cities, sub-metropolitan cities, municipalities and rural municipalities.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on August 19, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.