19,000 officials not filing property details to face action

January 4, 2017 02:00 AM Bhadra Sharma


KATHMANDU, Jan 4: The National Vigilance Center (NVC) has recommended to the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to take action against over 19,000 government officials not submitting their property details on time.
 
After going through the records on government officials, NVC, the anti-graft body under the direct supervision of the prime minister, on Tuesday forwarded the list of non-compliant officials to the CIAA and demanded action against them.

"We have submitted their particulars to the CIAA, recommending further investigates into the matter,"  Bishnu Raj Lamichhane, spokesperson at the NVC, told Republica. It is now up to the CIAA how to hold the defiant officials accountable for not complying with the regulations."

Data on such officials was made public after the NVC conducted a study into the official property records of government officials following expiry of the deadline. The deadline expires 60 days after the end of a fiscal year.

The anti-graft body keeps records on the property details of civil servants, teachers, military and police personnel and others who are paid out of state coffers.

Teachers are found to be the most non-compliant, according to details provided by the NVC. Altogether 10,215 teachers out of the total 72,507 did not submit their property details within the deadline.  

Similarly, 4,416 civil servants out of 78,028 didn't comply, followed by 2,613 military and 492 police personnel. Government records show that that there are currently a total of 89,473 army and 95,997 police personnel in the country. 

The Corruption Prevention Act-2002 has a provision under which every government employee must submit his or  her property details within 60 days of the start of each fiscal year.  But some government officials often flout this law despite repeated warnings from the anti-graft body. Last year, 22,860 government officials had failed to submit their property details in time.  Of them, 14,000 were fined, according to the CIAA.

The Act mandates the CIAA to slap  a fine of Rs 5,000 if he or she fails to submit such details in time. If all the accused are fined strictly, a total of Rs 96 million will accrue to state coffers this time. 

CIAA assistant spokesman Khagendra Rijal assured that action would be taken against the defiant officials. "We will first verify their names and will definitely take action against them if violation of the law is confirmed," said Rijal. "They have to submit even the receipt for the payment of the fine." 

Though the NVC doesn't make public the details of property owned, it helps anti-corruption bodies like the CIAA in investigations when complaints are registered against particular officials. "It is not just a question of a Rs 5,000 fine. What is more important is investigating wrongdoing by government officials," said Rijal.

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