Friday, November 18, 2011

Donors unhappy with project chiefs' transfer


KATHMANDU: Donors, including the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, DFID, JICA and the EU, have expressed concern about the government’s failure to check corruption in development projects and opposed frequent transfer of chiefs of development projects.

Fiduciary risk and corruption are increasing in Nepal, Robert Piper, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said today, calling on the government to enforce measures to check corruption.

Though the government has agreed not to transfer chiefs of development projects for at least three years except in cases of proven misconduct or non-performance, it has transferred chiefs of projects twice in a year, the donors said, adding the transfers coincide with change in government. “We encourage government to implement the deal,” ADB officials told this daily, adding that they are not happy with frequent transfers of chiefs of ADB-funded projects. The ADB’s contribution to ongoing projects in Nepal amounts to $ 1.230 billion.

The first-class officers generally get transferred in January-February after serving a department or division for at least two years, according to the Civil Service Act. However, Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hridayash Tripathi recently transferred seven joint secretaries by interchanging projects, divisions and departments.

Hari Prasad Sharma, appointed executive director of the Melamchi Drinking Water Project about two years ago, got transferred to Monitoring Division of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works despite the Civil Service Act provision that bars the transfer of officials retiring in a year. Sharma is retiring in 10 months.

Krishna Prasad Acharya, appointed Director General of the Department of Drinking Water about eight months ago, has landed in the Melamchi project.

A mission from the Manila-based ADB Headquarters had visited Nepal on September 21-25 and requested the government to retain chiefs of ADB-funded projects describing their ‘performance as satisfactory.’

Tulasi Presad Sitaula, secretary at the ministry, defended the transfers and said, “We have brought better performers in the


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