Delayed service, bribery continue to mar government officesA significant portion of service seekers in Okhaldhunga and Chitwan have complained about delay in service delivery in government offices in separate surveys conducted by the National Vigilance Centre.
Prithvi Man Shrestha
A significant portion of service seekers in Okhaldhunga and Chitwan have complained about delay in service delivery in government offices in separate surveys conducted by the National Vigilance Centre. The service delivery of the government offices in Baitadi district is relatively better according to the survey.
The anti-graft watchdog under the Prime Minister’s Office had conducted a survey among 100 service seekers of different government offices in each district. The government offices, including Land Revenue Office, Survey Office, District Administration Office and local government offices, are among the many offices where the surveys were conducted.
The NVC has been conducting such surveys among service seekers every year to monitor the daily operations of government offices. In Okhaldhunga, of the total 100 service seekers surveyed, 52 were men and 48 were women, according to NVC. The survey report shows that 45 percent of the service seekers complained about delays in service delivery, while another 45 percent of people responded by saying that they got timely service. Ten percent of service seekers did not respond to the query.
Likewise, as many as 49 percent of service seekers among those surveyed complained that the process of service delivery was too complicated for them. Only 14 percent of those surveyed responded that they got hassle-free service.
Although almost half of the service seekers surveyed did not respond to the question of why they didn’t get timely service, eight percent remarked that they were denied services for not providing bribes. As many as 17 percent say the lack of adequate documents is the reason behind them not getting timely services; while an equal percentage of service seekers blamed the government employees for not doing their job to deliver the services.
Likewise, in Chitwan, as many as 36 percent of the people surveyed complained about delays in getting services, while 48 percent said they got timely service. Although the number of people who got timely service is more than those who didn’t get, the number of people not getting timely services is still significant, said NVC officials.
Likewise, as many as 39 percent of surveyors complained that receiving service was troubling for them while 30 percent commented about receiving service in a hassle-free environment. The remaining percentage of service seekers didn’t respond, according to NVC. NVC Spokesperson Bishnu Raj Lamichhane said that they were receiving complaints about delay in service delivery in most of the districts.
“Service delivery is troubling particularly in offices such as Land Revenue Offices and Survey Offices,” he said. “As they are yet to go under the local governments practically as planned, their supervision has also been weak.”
In both districts, there were many who did not register complaints at all. As many as 61 percent of service seekers did not register complaints in Okhaldhunga, while 62 percent of service seekers in Chitwan did not register complaints. According to Lamichhane, many people prioritise getting their work done instead of registering complains.
Although there is a Good Governance (Management and Operation) Act, in which there is a provision that asserts a government agency to provide compensation to service seekers if they fail to provide services without a justified reason, people are unaware about it. NVC officials say that the provision has hardly been enforced till date. The government had also planned on implementing Citizen’s Charter, a document wherein people will be informed about their rights to claim compensation for denial or delay service delivery unjustifiably.
“Obviously, discussions had taken place on implementing Citizen’s Charter with compensation provision. But I am not sure whether this has been implemented in any office,” said Lamichhane.
But, the government’s service delivery appears to relatively better in Baitadi district. According to the survey conducted there—which included 100 people, including 58 male and 42 women—96 percent said that they experienced timely service delivery and 92 percent remarked that they didn’t face hassle to avail of government services. “The case of Baitadi is an exception when it comes to service delivery,” said Lamichhane. “I am not sure whether the surprising result is due to good governance or other factors that have influenced the service seekers’ opinion.”