Complaints drop by half after canon cuts anti-graft body power

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 20, 2018-

The number of the complaints at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has substantially reduced after the new constitution stripped the anti-graft body of the authority to probe into improper conduct of public officials.

Before the new constitution was adopted, the CIAA had received the record high 21,503 complaints in the fiscal year 2014-15. That year, the anti-graft body had recovered Rs 120.95 million from those involved in improper conducts.

The number of complaints almost halved in the previous two fiscal years--2016-17 and 2017-18, according to the CIAA.

Officials say the reduced role of the CIAA is one of the main reasons behind this.

 “We have not identified other reasons,” said CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwor Dangal.

The CIAA Act describes improper conduct as not doing things within jurisdiction, not following due procedure, and exercising discretionary power with malafide intent, among others. Though defined as abuse of authority and lesser evil compared to corruption, improper conducts by people in public offices can have a huge impact, particularly in least developed nations like Nepal.

Threatened by erratic activities of the CIAA under the leadership of Lok Man Singh Karki, the erstwhile Constituent Assembly had curtailed the anti-graft body’s authority to investigate into improper conducts of public officials.  

By limiting the CIAA’s authority and without an independent institution having the jurisdiction to investigate into improper conducts of public officials, officials say there is a risk of such malpractices going unnoticed and unpunished.  

The anti-graft body has been trying to reinstate its authority to investigate into improper conduct .

According to Dangal, the CIAA has submitted a draft of a law to the Prime Minister’s Office about two months ago by bringing some of the improper conducts as a part of corruption.

The National Vigilance Centre, an anti-graft body directly supervised by the Prime Minister, has also sought the authority of investigating into improper conducts in its proposal.

Though the CIAA no longer has the authority to probe into improper conducts of public officials, it still receives complaints of malpractices in government agencies.

“Many people still don’t know about the difference between improper conduct and corruption and register their complaints with us,” said CIAA Commissioner Ganesh Raj Joshi. “We screen such complaints and write to the concerned government agencies to look into the matter.”

Fiscal Year    Fresh complaints

2014-15    21,503

2015-16    15,126

2016-17    11,704

2017-18    11,769

- Source: CIAA

Published: 20-08-2018 07:32

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