Kathmandu, February 9

A study on the ‘Status of Corruption and Good Governance in Nepal, 2019’ recently conducted by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has offered a number of suggestions to the government for making progress in the fight against corruption in public offices.

As short-term measures, the report has suggested that the government ensure that the citizens are aware of services to be provided by public offices and fee, if any, they are obliged to pay for them. “It requires the government to make optimum use of official websites, media and social networking sites to inform people in such a way they  understand easily,” the report stated. It also suggested the government to update the citizen charters placed in public offices from time to time.

“Employees of some government offices are often found engaged in their personal work during office hours. Therefore, the higher level authorities have to keep track of them and make the employees responsible and accountable to their duties. In addition, the high-handedness of trade unions affiliated to various political parties should be immediately stopped in public offices and punished as per the prevailing laws if they obstruct regular administrative business of the government,” the report suggests.

As part of long-term suggestions, the report has stressed the need to incorporate the subjects of good governance and anti-corruption into the school and university curriculum. If these subjects are included
in the curriculum, the country can produce capable and honest human resources in future. It will also help instil a sense of integrity and accountability in the citizens.

Another suggestion the report has offered is to increase salary of government employees to distract them from bribery as service-seekers are often denied services without bribe. “The government should initiate legal action against corrupt officials without any political prejudice,” it stated.

The report has also suggested developing a time-bound action plan for service delivery in public offices which are notorious for corruption and bribery. The report stated that land revenue office, survey office, inland revenue office, municipality/rural municipality office, water supply office, district administration office, district education office, transport management office, district police office, district agricultural office, Nepal Telecom, land reform office, cottage and small industries office and road division office are the public offices where corruption has become a way of life.

“The government should make a provision of e-software programming and e-attendance and mobile apps, and installation of CCTVs cameras in these offices,” the report stated. The study also found that social networking sites, especially Facebook, had been detrimental to productivity of government offices as most of the employees spent long hours on the Internet during office hours without any regard to service-seekers.

“Therefore, a provision requiring the employees either to surrender their smart phones before the reception of the concerned office or allowing their use only at a certain time should be introduced,” the report suggested.