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Complaints about irregularities at local levels on the rise, CIAA says

- PRITHIVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu

Apr 16, 2019-

In the past nine months, more than 20,000 complaints have been registered at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, with most complaints alleging irregularities at the local level.

According to the anti-graft body, the number of complaints registered this year is significantly higher than last year. Last  year, only 19,488 complains were registered in the entire fiscal year 2017-18.

Pradeep Koirala, spokesperson at the anti-graft body, told the Post that around 23 percent of the total complaints registered are related to local levels, followed by the education sector (10 percent) and the land revenue and survey offices.

The high number of complaints related to local units is not an isolated incident. In fact, authorities say a rising trend can be seen in the past five years. The complaints related to local levels was 12.75 percent of the total complaints registered in fiscal year 2014-15, which rose to 18.02 percent in the last fiscal year 2017-18. The number has surged this year.

According to him, local governments have paid contractors more than what they were supposed to pay as per the law, spent budgets without any benefit, gone against public procurement law, allocated excessive facilities to office bearers, illegally appointed advisors by the office bearers, etc.

“We have also received many complaints about local levels which do not not come under the jurisdiction of the CIAA,” he added.  

According to a recent survey conducted by the CIAA, respondents termed the local governments the second-most corrupt institutions after revenue offices. The latest 56th annual report of the Office of Auditor General has also mentioned anomalies at the local level.

However, elected representatives of local levels claim that the allegation of thriving corruption is being used to weaken their systems. “The number of complaints does not confirm that corruption is thriving,” said Bhim Prasad Dhungana, general secretary of Municipal Association of Nepal, a group of municipalities across the country. “After elected representatives assumed office, many complaints were registered due to political rivalry. My question is: how many charges against officer bearers at local levels have been proved to be true.”

Published: 17-04-2019 07:00

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