Nepal one of the most corrupt countries, states US report

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s network of anti-corruption agencies lacks consistency in approach and clear areas of jurisdiction, resulting in frequently overlapping functions, a report released by the US-based Global Integrity said.

The report, which is an investigative study of 35 countries, released in Washington DC recently, noted that Nepal has dubious distinction of being one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Corruption - from petty to grand - is endemic. In recent years, Nepal has fared terribly in global indexes of transparency, accountability and corruption. For instance, in Transparency International’s (TI) 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index, Nepal scored 2.5 out of 10 (down from 2.7 the previous year).

“While many corruption-related legal reforms were adopted in 2007, their implementation has been stalled as the government’s focus shifted to peace building, conflict resolution, social inclusion and elections. Following this, Constituent Assembly elections were held in 2008.”

Monitoring of those elections was more effective than ever before despite the election monitoring agency’s lack of staff and electronic voting technology being limited to Kathmandu, the report added.

While the diverse make-up

of CA was intended to provide greater representation for

the rural poor, in reality greater levels of tension and political infighting have arisen, the

report said.

Unfortunately, so have attacks on journalists. The fear

of violent reprisals and the

control of journalism unions

by political parties have retarded the professionalisation of this growing field.

Rather than measure perceptions of corruption, the report assesses the accountability mechanisms and transparency measures in place (or not) to prevent corruption through more than 300 “Integrity Indicators” as well as journalistic reporting of corruption. The Global Integrity Report 2009 covers developed countries, as well as dozens of the world’s emerging markets and developing nations.

The report covers countries like, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Macedonia, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, USA, Nicaragua, Norway, Rwanda and Serbia.