Corruption Control:
Challenges and Efforts in Nepal

CIAA HQ, NepalBackground
Corruption, like an anti-social virus, pervades the world in different forms and developing countries often view this problem as an incurable social disease. As a developing country, Nepal is not immune to the impact of corruption; on the contrary, corruption has taken a firm hold in Nepalese society and has become a menace to good governance and to the welfare of the people of Nepal. In response to this critical problem both internal and external pressure has been brought to bear.

Anti Corruption Bodies and Laws
Prior to 1953, legal provisions dealing with corruption were scattered throughout various pieces of legislation. With the enactment of the 1953 Corruption Control Act, a separate department was established to address the problem of corruption in the administrative sector. This act was subsequently repealed and replaced by the 1960 Prevention of Corruption Act, and a special police department was established under the Home Ministry to investigate corruption. Prior to 1975, there was no independent constitutional body to deal with corruption, but with the second amendment to the Constitution of Nepal, a Commission for the Prevention of Abuse of Authority (CPAA) was set up to both investigate and adjudicate upon corruption cases.

CIAA NewsletterThe Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal 1990 established the Commission for the Investigation of the Abuse of Authority (CIAA) which is empowered to investigate corruption and improper conduct on the part of public officials. Mounting public pressure and the work of CIAA led to the enactment of more effective legal provisions. As a result, the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority Act 1991 was amended to provide greater powers to the CIAA, and the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002 was enacted. This legislation established a National Vigilance Center and provided additional powers to combat corruption. Additionally, the Special Court Act 2002 constituted a three-member court to try corruption cases.

Investigation and Adjudication of Corruption Cases
The CIAA is the only constitutional body which investigates and files cases to the Special Court concerning improper conduct and corruption by public officials. Corruption cases filed by the CIAA are prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office. With the establishment of the Special Court and the enactment of the Prevention of Corruption Act 2002, success in combating corruption cases has increased to 87%, and this can be regarded as a positive and important step towards corruption control.

Challenges
Excessive indulgence and corrupt conduct by politicians, lack of political commitment, use of undue political influence in bureaucracy, departmental reluctance to tackle corruption, and poor job evaluation and performance appraisal mechanisms, all pose serious impediments to the control of corruption. Corruption is able to flourish because of the existence of an invisible nexus between corrupt politicians, senior bureaucrats, businessmen and industrialists. Efforts towards combating corruption cannot be effective unless this nexus can be broken, but the problem facing those charged with this task is worsened by having to work with limited physical and human resources.

Conclusion
Since the year 2000 the anti corruption campaign in Nepal has become stronger. This has been due partly to the proactive work of the CIAA, but also to the rising awareness of the people, and pressure from civic-minded factions of Nepalese society and donor countries. Corruption control is high on the agenda in the Royal Proclamation, which, together with the formation of Royal Commission for Corruption Control, has reinforced and consolidated Nepal's anti corruption campaign. But anti corruption legislation alone cannot defeat this social evil, and it is the duty of all factions of society, including the government, non-government organisations, the media, professional organizations and the man in the street to join forces against and collectively combat this deeply rooted social evil.

 


Krishna Jeevi Ghimire
Deputy Attorney
Office of the Attorney General
Nepal