Nepalis pay up to Rs 25,000 bribe to get work done

  • corruption in govt agencies
  • Land offices, judiciary top the list when it comes to greasing officials’ palms for fast service delivery
- Bhadra Sharma, Kathmandu
Transparency International-Nepal has prepared a report titled ‘A Survey on Public Service Delivery’ after conducting a baseline survey among 1,153 households of nine districts in the country

Dec 24, 2015-While settling land related affairs, chances are high that you will land up with an official or two at government offices where you have to cough up as much as Rs25,000 as kickback. 

According to a report published by Transparency International-Nepal (TI-N), Nepali services seekers have paid up to Rs 25,000 for completion of their work in Land Revenue Office. The report says service seekers were found to have paid up to Rs15,000 at Land Reform Office and up to Rs5,000 at Land Survey Office.

The report launched on Wednesday says service seekers have to pay bribe to government officials to get their work fast-tracked, as they tend not to deliver services within the expected time frame. 

When it comes to government offices, paying bribe to get the work done is order of the day, according to the report in which the TI-N has listed a number of government offices where service seekers were found to have paid different amounts of money as kickback.

The report titled ‘A Survey on Public Service Delivery’ was prepared based on a baseline survey among 1,153 households of nine districts in the country, according to TI-N. Service seekers, according to the report, have to wait up to 90 days to get services from public offices, which have hugely impacted service seekers’ livelihood as well as social and household affairs. 

The bribe amounts at different offices ranged between Rs 100 to Rs 25,000, according to the report.

Besides land offices, bribe amounts were found to be comparatively higher in the judiciary (Rs 10,000), District Administration Office (Rs 8,000) and District Administration Office (Rs 5,000). The report, the first one prepared by TI-N, also revealed that involvement of third party, or middlemen, is rampant in government offices. 

The report says most of the government services failed to deliver service on time. As a result, service seekers are forced to resort to “third party” or “middlemen”, whose “help” can result in completion of work relatively faster. But “middlemen’s services” come at a price. 

Researchers involved in the survey said service delivery was worst in judiciary where service seekers have to wait for maximum 90 days to get their work completed. The judiciary has the highest levels of unofficial payments, says the report.

The Inland Revenue Office, according to respondents, has maximum numbers of middlemen, and service delivery is relatively faster, and there is no prize for guessing why. Raghav Bista, a research consultant for the TI-N, said service at government offices is deliberately delayed. 

Service seekers who read the Citizens’ Charter, however, get their work done relatively faster, according to the report. “… and informed service seekers do lodge complaints against the delay, but they are rarely addressed,” says the report. 

Acknowledging the delay in completion of work  in government offices, Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi, who was present in the programme organised to launch the report as chief guest, said absence of elected people’s representatives at the local bodies has affected overall governance. “Our service delivery design is very weak. Absence of elected people’s representatives at the local bodies has further affected service delivery,” said Subedi. 

Weak administration of the government was perceived to be one of the main causes of corruption in district offices, says the report.

Published: 24-12-2015 08:57

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