‘Mentality for quick money promotes corruption’
Ramesh Lamsal, KATHMANDU: The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to date in the current fiscal year registered 170 alleged cases of corruption (took place only during 212 days of office hours).
The CIAA finding is that employees in those government offices established with special and specific purposes are also indulged in corruption. When analyzing corruption charge sheets registered by the CIAA at the Special Court lately, some people were found to have been amassing property in an unusual way.
A non-gazetted first class officer (Nayab Subba) has been found accumulating property worth Rs 148 million during his official career while an account at the Transport Management Department has been found to have assembled property worth Rs 620 million.
CIAA Chief Commissioner Nabeen Kumar Ghimire said audio-visual clips collected from some offices suggest the corruption situation is terrible.
“The mentality of making quick money to become millionaire upon joining the service is highly prevalent,” he said, underlining the need of cultivating integrity as well to prevent the corruption.
In his address to a programme organised by the CIAA on the occasion of the International Anti- Corruption Day here today, the Chief Commissioner said,” The CIAA is studying about the economic status of over 15,000 senior and other government employees.”
‘The Rapid Action Task Force’ has been en force targeting offices facing an increased flow of service seekers. Besides, such offices are under the CIAA surveillance through other mechanism.
Despite the CIAA continued efforts to prevent corruption, the arrest of employees of with same work nature at a same office with a bribe is enough to say that they were not responsible to the service seekers and it indicate the sense of accountability is missing on the part of office chief as well, according to him.
“The lack of such responsibility will obviously raise the question whether it is promoting the corruption,” he said
He went on to say that it had during the fiscal year 2075-76 BS registered 251 corruption cases at the Special Court and 88 percent success had been achieved.
As he said, in case of offices relating to the public procurement, chief and secretary should be more responsible to prevent corruption. The responsibility avoidance culture must be discouraged.
According to the CIAA, a test mechanism has been established in Bardibas and Nepalgunj to maintain the standard in construction projects by averting the possibility of substandard construction materials and other non-standard procedures. Such type of laboratory will be established in other locations as well.
In the past, increased number of complaints were would be related to the bodies under the Ministry of Education, but lately more complaints about irregularities are about the local governments, according to him.
He added last year, it had carried out study about 1848 projects and gave suggestions to the government. Some suggestions were implemented and contract agreements of some sick projects were canceled.
It was a matter of concern that Nepal continues to make its presence in the higher position of the corruption list. “We are committed to improving the status by 10 percent by the next five year.”
Nepal was ranked 124 in Corruption Perception Index-2018 as per the study conducted by the Transparency International, falling from 122 in 2017.
Chief Commissioner Ghimire underscored the need to seriously internalize the service-oriented mentality. He shared that efforts were underway to curb the political interference in the Public Procurement.
The Commission, on the occasion, made public the five-year Institutional/Organizational Strategic Plan for the Commission beginning from the current fiscal year 2019/20.
The Plan underlines the preventive, curative, promotional and institutional capacity building.
Corruption under the protection of politics will not be spared
In the event organized by the Commission on the International Anti-Corruption Day-2019, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defense Ishwor Pokharel reaffirmed his commitment that no cases of corruption conducted under the protection of politics, will be exempted of action under any circumstances
DPM Pokharel assured, “Any erring persons, high-profile or whatsoever, will not be spared. Those culprits shall be brought to justice.”
Pointing out the need for the Commission to dispel the wrong impression prevailing among the people that the Commission only tightens its noose against the small fries rather than taking action against the big-wigs, Pokharel argued that controlling corruption was the first step towards realization of the national goal ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali.’
Arguing that the change would start from the individual, house and society for building a morally-guided society, the DPM commended that Commission’s efforts to curb the corruption were positive and meaningful.
He was confident that that five-year strategic plan unveiled by the Commission would also contribute towards combating the corruption.
Also speaking at the programme, Chief Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi called for cooperation from all quarters to discourage those ”unsocial trends” that would buck the reform and development of societies.
He said it was imperative to put an end to the corrupted activities and wrongdoings to help realize the national aspiration to make the country prosper and make the people happy.
Similarly, Transparency International Nepal Chapter President Khemraj Regmi underlined the need for legal reforms and encouraging institutional accountability to end corruption in Nepal.
He drew the attention of the government and Commission’s towards the additional fees charged by some private medical colleges, irregularities surrounding the development works and the corruptions in the government agencies and spoke of the need to scale up their efforts to curb the corruption in these areas.
The International Anti-Corruption Day has been observed on December 9 every year since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption. RSS