Saturday, 13 July, 2024

Accountable Bureaucracy

It is apparent that bureaucracy has become a leading feature of the modern world as it plays a dominant role in formulating public policies as well as implementing them. Bureaucratic apparatuses are a universal phenomenon as they are regarded as an essential element. They can help move the process of overall development in developed as well as developing nations ahead. Besides contributing to establishing good governance in the nation, they transfer knowledge and culture. Bureaucrats are supposed to be result-oriented and deal with national as well as local issues on a priority basis. However, they are often criticised for being only process-oriented. In Nepal, bureaucrats are usually blamed for failing to carry out their duties and responsibilities in an efficient and effective manner. Over the years, many bureaucrats, especially junior ones, have also been caught red-handed while taking grafts from service seekers. Such incidents are clear indications that bureaucrats have to improve public image.

Against this backdrop, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli emphasised the need for bureaucrats to change their attitude and working style for realising the outcome of a responsible and accountable administration. The Prime Minister expressed the view while receiving a report of the Administration Reform, Implementation and Monitoring Committee at his official residence at Baluwatar on Tuesday. Submitting the 20-point report, the committee chairman Kashiraj Dahal since the increasing administrative cost could adversely affect development activities, the committee had recommended the government to cut off construction of unnecessary infrastructure. The committee has also suggested that the government should carry out an investigation into irregularities and take action against those involved in such misdeeds. Moreover, the committee asked the government to develop a mechanism to control the misuse of grants provided to the local units and implement all the relevant recommendations accordingly.

Prime Minister Oli, who is committed to cracking down on corruption and establishing good governance, also called for promoting capability, austere behaviour and purity of bureaucracy. As suggested by the Prime Minister, the administration should be made more active and effective. It must be successful in meeting the needs and expectations of the people. As a social campaigner and service delivery body that implements policies for the larger good of the general public, bureaucracy should be able to address the burning issues of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. It must adopt the principle of utility. It is also essential for bureaucracy to be economical and energetic. He rightly said that lethargy could never yield a desired result and dynamic and honest bureaucrats along with better physical infrastructures alone would meet the people’s aspirations.

Although the country was able to make some administrative reforms in the past, several industries found themselves in ailing state when the industrial revolution should have gained momentum. Because of that, the state has been bearing the cost of employees working in such industries. The Prime Minister said that collaborative efforts were a must for building Nepal a prosperous nation. It is necessary for any organisation to have a dedicated and sincere leadership to achieve good governance.