44pc service seekers feel bribes must for govt service: Report
JITENDRA KUMAR JHA
RAJBIRAJ, Jan 31: Around half the service seekers in Saptari believe that a bribe is imperative for getting any kind of service at government offices in the district.
A survey conducted by the National Vigilance Center (NVC) showed that 44 percent of service seekers believe they have to bribe a government employee in return for any service needed from that employee.
A NVC team led by NVC chief Madhav Prasad Regmi, who is also a government secretary, disclosed this after conducting a survey among service seekers present at various government offices in the district over the last three days.
“Altogether 44 percent of the service seekers said that they have to pay under the table for any service they seek from a government office", said Sher Bahadur Dhungana, NVC undersecretary, making the findings of the survey public on Wednesday.
The NVC team had also monitored the Citizen´s Charter on display at government offices in the district as well as surveying public perceptions regarding service from government offices.
According to Dhungana, service seekers complained that they have to face problems such as rejection of applications for any particular service, dillydallying for no obvious reason and even mistreatment at the hands of government employees.
“It was found that employees at offices from village development committees to the district administration office would not perform even the smallest task without taking a bribe,” Dhungana said. “In the past, we used to know Saptari as the district of learned people, but the survey showed that the number of corrupt individuals is also bigger in the district,” added Dhungana.
Similarly, stating that service seekers are disappointed by the rude behavior of government employees, Dhungana said at a function organized to make the survey findings public, “It is really a matter of concern that people are saddened by mistreatment at the hands of government employees. The employees should be aware about this on time before public discontent invites dreadful results”. Besides, Dhungana also informed that the Citizen´s Charter kept at government offices was unclear and incomplete.
“The Citizen´s Charter was meant to make government service and facilities transparent and improve the quality of public service. But, the charter itself was found to be unclear," Dhungana stated.
Under-secretary at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Janaki Ballav Adhikari, said that anti-graft efforts would not be effective until the mandate of the CIAA was extended.
“The judiciary, the cabinet and other entities should also be brought under CIAA jurisdiction for its anti-graft activities,” Adhikari said.
Secretary Regmi said that corruption could not be controlled through any single authority. The locals, civil society leaders and political leaders stated that there was no authority active against corruption in the district.