Five officials transferred from CIEDPThe understaffed Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) has lost five more of its officials after the government transferred them to other agencies.
The understaffed Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) has lost five more of its officials after the government transferred them to other agencies.
The transfer comes at a time when the CIEDP is hard-pressed to investigate around 3,000 complaints related to the conflict-era crimes, with limited time and human resource.
Transferral of five of its staff members—two under secretaries, one section officer and two non-gazetted officials—has left the CIEDP with a staff of 25.
The commission, which had been asking the government to appoint more staff, has been bowled over by the government decision.
“When we were expecting additional staff, the government transferred our trained officials to other offices,” said Commission Chair Lokendra Mallick, “We had already put them through trainings and familiarised them with the process.”
Althoug the government had originally allotted 70 positions for the CIEDP, only 30 appointments had been made. The CIEDP had been asking the government to provide additional 26 staff. What it got instead was transfer orders for five of its officials.
The government has transferred section officer Manamat Upadhyay to Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), under secretary duo Raju Poudel and Man Bahadur Khadka to Home Ministry and Land Reforms Department, and the non-gazetted officials Tejendra Adhikari and Ananda Bista to Co-operative Training Centre and Ministry of General Administration, respectively.
Officials say risks of working for an investigative body and the lack of handsome perks and allowances make the jobs in an institution like CIEDP unappealing.
A provision in the Inquiry Commission Act 1968 states that the employees should be given allowance equivalent to 60 percent of their salary if they are assigned to any probe commission.
A CIAA employee is entitled to the allowance equal to their salary. In Parliament, the allowance is 125 percent of the salary.
Though the Customs Office, Revenue Collection Office, the Supreme Court and the Attorney General’s Office only offer allowances equivalent to 50 percent of the salary, which is lower than inquiry commissions, the amount of risk at job is insignificant.
Working for an investigation commission is no luxury. There are risks and benefits are few, which is why most government employees are reluctant to work for probe commissions.
“The government decision to transfer our men has upended everything we had planned and been working on until now,” Mallick said.
“We cannot afford to lose any more of our trained staff.”