Graft cases against local units continue to surge: CIAA studyThere has been a surge in the number of graft complaints registered at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority against local units in the last five years, even more so after local representatives were elected in 2017.
There has been a surge in the number of graft complaints registered at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority against local units in the last five years, even more so after local representatives were elected in 2017.
In the fiscal year 2017-18, the anti-graft body recorded 19,488 complaints, and 3,511 (18.02 percent) were against local units—the highest in the previous five fiscal years.
In the fiscal year 2013-14, of the 22,602 complaints registered with the CIAA, 3,300 (14.60 percent) were against local units.
The complaint rates for local units have continued to rise ever since—12.75 percent (3,982 of the 31,213 complaints) in the fiscal year 2014-15; 14.82 percent (3,659 of the 24,691 complaints) in the fiscal year 2015-16; and 15.54 percent (3,042 of the 19,580 complaints) in the fiscal year 2016-17.
“We have not yet evaluated why complaints against local units have increased in the recent years,” said CIAA Spokesperson Rameshwor Dangal.
The anti-graft agency survey report, “Study on Corruption and Good-Governance in Nepal-2075”, released in the last week of January shows that only land revenue offices are more corrupt than local units.
The survey had found that the highest number of respondents (55 percent) had named land revenue offices as most corrupt, while 41.6 percent of the respondents said they had to pay bribes to get services from municipal and rural municipal offices.
The CIAA had conducted the survey in the second half of the fiscal year 2017-18 after the elected representatives had already assumed their offices.
Elected local representatives say rise in the number graft complaints is only natural, given the large number of local units compared to provincial and central government agencies.
Ashok Kumar Byanju Shrestha, president of Municipal Association of Nepal, said high number of complaints against local units does not necessarily mean that corruption has increased after the elections.
“After the local elections in 2017, there are political opponents in every local units. Those who lost in the elections could be registering complaints against elected officials out of rivalry,” he said.
According to CIAA report, most of the complaints are related to quantity and quality of supplied goods, substandard construction, awarding contracts without following due procedures, budget misappropriation,
illegal aggregate mining, distribution of social security allowance and misuse of office facilities.