Stop power abuse: NVC to electricity office

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    NEA_BuldingKATHMANDU: What the National Vigilance Centre has found will not startle one but only will re-tell how the country’s only electricity utility is mired in mismanagement and corruption.

    The Nepal Electricity Authority, whose annual losses are said to be to the tune of Rs 8 billion, has been directed by NVC to immediately stop its top officials from misusing office vehicles for personal purposes and follow due procedures while hiring staff.

    NVC started an investigation after a complaint was lodged with the vigilance centre saying Hum Bahadur KC, chief of the Recruitment Department of NEA, had played foul while appointing foremen (drivers) and Bhagawati Prasai, deputy director of the same department, was using office vehicles for personal purposes. After finding that the complainants were right in saying KC was involved in abusing power to hire staff and Prasai in misusing state facility, NVC on Friday directed the state-owned power utility to stop abuse of authority. The NVC investigation was carried out under the command of a deputy superintendent of police.

    The complainants had charged KC with hiring one of his relatives as driver despite knowing the fact that the recruit was unable to drive.

    Negligence is rampant in the organisation, said the complainants. “While job interviews are conducted for formality, employees who are close to him (KC) are enjoying ‘extra allowances’ for no proper reason,” the complainants had said.

    NVC has asked NEA authorities to stop three activities immediately: Doling out allowances, discrimination against employees on the basis of ideology and misuse of office vehicles. It has ordered that the office vehicles should strictly be within the office premises and not at top officials’ residences while not in use.

    Investigations into alleged embezzlement in NEA are also being carried out by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority. An officer at NEA said KC and Prasai, being in the same department, are working in cahoots.

    The Nepal Electricity Authority Rules (on recruitment) though clearly state that an official who is an invigilator during written tests cannot sit in the panel of interviewers, KC has been found to be present at both places, employees have blamed.

    Source : The Himalayan Times