The National Vigilance Centre has made recommendation to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority to initiate legal action against 18,170 public post holders, including office-bearers and employees, for their failure to submit property details within the stipulated time in the fiscal 2019-20.

According to the NVC, a total of 650,128 office-bearers and employees had submitted their property details in 2019-20, while 18,170 did not comply with the mandatory legal provision. The errant public post holders include 15,843 from the federal level, 263 from the provincial level and 4,064. They consist of civil servants, army and police personnel and teachers. Teachers account for the highest number among those who failed to submit the property details.

However, the number of public post holders, who submitted their property details, increased to 97.28 per cent in the fiscal 2019-20 from 97.19 per cent in the previous fiscal.

Civil servants should submit their property details through the Department of Civil Personnel Records, Nepali Army personnel to Army Record Office, police personnel to Police Record Management Department, school teachers to School Teacher Record Office, and other persons holding public office to concerned agencies.

As per the Prevention of Corruption Act-2002, any person who joins public office is, within 60 days from the date of joining such office and thereafter within 60 days from the date of completion of each fiscal year, required to submit the updated statement of property in his/her or his/her family members' name along with sources of income to the body prescribed by the government.

The concerned body may extend the deadline for submission of such details for maximum 30 days. Concerned offices will be required to submit property details of their employees to the NVC in sealed envelopes, separately. It is compulsory to mention the name and surname, post, service/group, level, office and mobile number of each employee in the envelop.

If property details of any employees are not submitted even within the extended period, the NVC refers the names and personal details of such employees to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority for legal action. Any employee, who fails to submit the statement of property even within the extended time limit, shall be subject to a fine of Rs 5,000 and an investigation into his/her assets.

Meanwhile, the NVC has written to the CIAA to initiate legal action against some offices in provincial and local levels, which failed to make entry of property details of their office-bearers and employees into the online software introduced by the corruption watchdog as per section 50 (3) of the act. The online software helps the NVC watchdog to collect, store, retrieve and analyse a large volume of data related to property details of public post holders in an easy-to-use format.

For this purpose, the NVC has provided username and password to each government employees. The concerned employees are required to make entry of their property details into the software in the prescribed format. The online software was a shift to paperless system as envisioned by the government.

A version of this article appears in the print on May 8, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.