A fishy affair

Six years after the inception of National Alertness Centre (NAC) - which was established in accordance with the Corruption Control Act 2059 and with the aim of checking corruption - the supposed anti-graft body remains a vestigial government body in absence of essential laws that properly define its jurisdiction. The Centre was established following the dissolution of the then Special Police Department which had special authority to detain people charged with irregularities and initiate investigation into such cases. With the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), which enjoys far greater authority to undertake the job, the existence of another anti-graft body appears superfluous.

Sadly though, in spite of the special powers that the CIAA enjoys, corruption prevails in most government offices. Moreover, those charged with serious corruption cases, often find loopholes in the judicial system to escape punishment. Generating awareness against corruption may be a good thing. But what needs to be done is to crack down on it. Tough action against some corrupt people will strike fears into the hearts of others. The effect of such action no awarenss campaign can match. With a new coalition of parties in power, one of the important tasks the government could perform is to identify those government offices or entities which exist, consuming taxpayers’ money, but doing no useful function. They should either be scrapped or reinvented.