Print Edition - 2016-12-16  |  MONEY

Amended anti-graft act to include pvt sector

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
Currently, only state-owned entities and those having a government share come under the purview of the anti-corruption watchdog

Dec 16, 2016-

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has moved to amend the Corruption Prevention Act in order to bring banks, financial institutions and cooperatives under its jurisdiction.

Currently, only state-owned entities and those having a government share come under the purview of the anti-corruption watchdog. 

As Nepal is a signatory to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which calls for preventive measures and criminalization of the most prevalent forms of corruption in the public and private sectors, the anti-graft body is seeking to bring even private companies which receive deposits from the public under its jurisdiction.

“Discussions are underway to categorize banks, financial institutions and cooperatives as public entities and bring them under the CIAA’s jurisdiction,” said a senior official of the anti-graft body. 

“Although the convention calls for taking measures against corruption in private companies, bringing them under the CIAA’s purview may not be practical in Nepal’s context. However, this will be the first step towards making the country’s law compatible with the UN convention,” said the official. 

The convention states, “Each state party shall take measures, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, to prevent corruption, enhance accounting and auditing standards in the private sector.”

CIAA officials have been lobbying for an amendment to the Corruption Prevention Act 2002 in line with the convention as the new constitution has prevented it from investigating cases of ‘improper acts’.

Attempts had been made to supervise the private sector through regulatory bodies under the CIAA’s suspended chief Lokman Singh Karki. 

More than a dozen hydropower projects had their survey and construction licences cancelled under the CIAA’s instruction for alleged irregularities. Likewise, banks were told to freeze the lockers of some prominent persons whose property details were being investigated by the anti-graft body.

Discussions have been held on the bill to amend the Corruption Prevention Act 2002 which the CIAA had sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, but the watchdog has recalled the draft for further amendment.

A team led by CIAA Commissioner Nabin Ghimire has been working on a new draft of the anti-corruption bill, according to CIAA officials.

A CIAA commissioner said that as many countries including Pakistan had brought the private sector under the purview of their anti-graft agencies, it would be a positive step for Nepal to do the same in order to fulfil its obligation under the UN Convention against Corruption.

Published: 16-12-2016 08:47

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