Vigilance lab dawdles for ten months without skilled staffThe National Vigilance Centre (NVC) has been struggling to bring its laboratory into operation even 10 months after its installation.
The National Vigilance Centre (NVC) has been struggling to bring its laboratory into operation even 10 months after its installation.
The laboratory, set up in May 2017 with the purpose to conduct technical audit of development projects, has remained idle due to lack of qualified human resources.
The lab will test construction materials such as cement, sand, steel, stone, bitumen, concrete and blacktop of development projects to determine they meet the required technical standards.
Under the law, the NVC can conduct technical audits of the development projects by involving technicians from outside the government services. Firstly, it took more than a year to install the lab equipment due to lack of office space and delay by lab equipment suppliers in sending a team to install them, according to the NVC. After the installation works, the lab faced crunch of skilled human resources.
Pramila Devi Shakya Bajracharya, joint-secretary at the NVC, said they had been unable to find the technical human resources from the government services. “Immediately after the installation works, we had requested the Public Service Commission to recruit lab technicians. But the positions are still vacant,” she said.
NVC’s efforts to get hold of technical staffers from other government offices have failed to materialise. “We had requested the Institute of Engineering under Tribhuvan University, the Department of Roads, among other government entities, to send their technical staffers to be deputised at our office for some period. But they responded saying that they don’t have enough staff for themselves,” said Bajracharya.
The NVC is now considering hiring lab technicians on contract basis from outside the government services until the Public Service Commission recruits permanent staffers.
Currently, the NVC depends on documents for conducting the audit of development
projects. The lab tests are expected to help it in determining strength and weakness of the projects in terms of materials used.
Audits conducted by independent and experienced engineers, NVC officials say, will ensure independent evaluation of projects’ strength and weakness. The NVC has set a target of auditing more than 80 projects this fiscal year, including many national pride projects. “We have already issued notice for appointing auditors to conduct technical audit of 43 projects,” said Bajracharya.