Submissions up this year but ‘not satisfactory yet’Out of 86,895 civil servants, 4,812 have failed to furnish property details. The deadline for submitting the property details ended on August 30.
Out of 86,895 civil servants, 4,812 have failed to furnish property details. The deadline for submitting the property details ended on August 30.
According to the Department of Civil Personnel Records (DCPR), there, however, there has been an improvement this year when it comes to furnishing the property details, as last fiscal only 78,098 civil servants had done so by the deadline.
The law requires every civil servant to submit his/her property details by the set deadline. If they fail to meet the deadline, they can submit their property details within 30 days from the end of the set date specifying the reasons for the delay.
“If a civil servant makes a request specifying the reasons why the property details could not be submitted by the set deadline, the concerned person is given 30 days to do so,” said Rajendra Parajuli, an information officer at the DCPR, a government agency mandated to keep the records of civil servants.
Section 50 of the Corruption Prevention Act 2000 says: “Whoever joins a public office shall, within 60 days from the date of joining the public office, shall submit an updated statement of property in his/her name or in the name of his/her family members along with the sources or evidence thereof to the body or authority prescribed by the government”.
The National Vigilance Centre (NVC) prepares a comprehensive report on property after the government ministries, departments and other bodies submit their property details of their staff.
But often times, public office holders tend to take a lackadaisical approach when it comes to submitting the details. “However, this year we have seen an improvement,” said Parajuli.
NVC Spokesperson Bishnuraj Lamichhane said the deadline ended on August 30 but “we hope the concerned government agencies will forward the property details to us soon.”
Last fiscal year, around 20,000 government officials had failed to submit their property statements.
“Nearly 50 percent of those who failed to comply with the law were teachers,” said Lamichhane.
NVC records show officials of the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, the Ministry of Education and the Parliament Secretariat top the list of those not submitting their property details. Officials of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development also have a poor record of submitting property details on time.
Though the NVC agrees there have been improvements when it comes to submission of property statements, it says the situation is not satisfactory.
In the fiscal year 2014-2015, of the 361,107 government officials, only 336,731 had submitted their property details, according to the NVC’s annual report. In 2015- 2016, there was an improvement of four percent.
After preparing a final report, the NVC recommends the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) for action against those who fail to submit their property details on time. As per the law, government officials failing to furnish their property details are liable to a fine up to Rs 5,000 fine and investigation into the property held by them and their family members.