Control over corruption through use of ICT

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A few days before I saw a status of my journalist friend on Facebook. He wrote that he has gone to the Land revenue office to pass his land map. One female staff helps him to finish his assignment. He thought she was helping him because she know he is a journalist. Nevertheless, after finishing his work she directly demand NRs 300 as a bribe. This is a fact and present scenario of our government offices. They are not hesitating to demand bribes from the people who are seeking help from them. They have right to obtain the legal documents from the offices, but still there are many implications because of the bribe culture or corruption in Nepal.

 Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as "the abuse of entrusted power by political leaders or bureaucracy for personal gain or specific group interest." Nepal has ranked in 116 position in CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX of Transparency International. It shows that the corruption is still an enormous problem for the development of Nepal.

In other hand, Nepal is growing up in the field of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). There are many possibilities to reduce the corruption by using ICT. According to the history, Nepal is not a very old country, which is practicing the ICT technologies. However, it is growing more rapidly than our expectation. Here are some ideas to use ICT to reduce the corruption from the government offices in Nepal.

We have to sensitize the people to use ICT technologies. Meanwhile we also have to sensitize them about the power of ICT to stop corruption. Even in some part of the Nepal, there is no electricity and no mobile and internet network yet. However, it does not mean that we cannot apply ICT there. If the government planned it well, then they can also provide such types of facilities in that area definitely they can also connect to the global village.

In our government offices, still most of offices are operating manually. Even they have the computer facility, but they do not think it can be reliable. Most of the countries of the world are using the internet and the computer to save their data and the way of official communication. Nevertheless, we are thinking that we cannot rely on computers or internet to communicate because it can raise the question about the reliability.

 We can see the Electronic authority, Nepal telecom and Inland Revenue offices have their own software and they use them to do their daily work. In addition, they have the computerized billing system. It made us easy to pay the bill even we can pay the bill for our home. It is also reliable and we do not have to rush up to the office to pay bills. After paying the bill, you can get a massage in your mobile as confirmation.

Therefore, this technology can be expanded in several government offices such as the land revenue. It is the most concern place for the citizen. They have to spend many times and the government personal giving them many headaches to do their work. Because they want a bribe from them. If anybody refuses them to give bribes, they have to suffer from the many problems. Therefore, it is easy to get the service by paying the bribe.


If we bring those services under the online system, then we do not have to pay the bribe to them. We can do it from the home or office so we do not need any agent who only works based on bribes. These ideas seems like fun and exhausted. However, it is possible if our government and we have the commitment and planning.

Now in our country the computer education is vibrant. Many youths want to be a computer engineer or software developer. Some of Nepalese also works for the renowned companies of the world. If any youth graduated in ICT, he wants to work abroad rather than to be in Nepal. They are known about there are no opportunity and future in Nepal to having ICT skills. But for the use of ICT skill to reduce corruption that the types of graduated youth should stay in Nepal. They can develop various software and programs to make easy for the government work.

 Even in India, computer engineers are working around the world. Now India made a strategy to return them to their country. For that, they are planning to give well salary and facility to them so they can work in their own country and they can use their knowledge for the growth of their nation. Therefore, our government can also do such type of work. 

In addition, the government official is not accepting the power of ICT. We have to conduct man kind of training sessions for them to make them enable to play with the computer. The government staff academy can also take a lead role for it.

 Another major thing is still we have lack of such types of law, rule regulation to spread ICT knowledge. Government can make such types of laws to promote the ICT knowledge and use of ICT. Infrastructure development is also another major work to do. If we have a good plan and policy, then we can also attract the foreign companies and countries to expand the infrastructure, which can help Nepal to develop ICT.

To reduce the corruption it is necessary to apply the ICT technology in all government offices. However, it can be from system, software or computer program. We can use them and if all information is computerized, then nobody can cheat easily. It does not mean that it can eradicate the corruption, however it would help reduce it. The social media also can be our greatest tools to disseminate the information and collect the public comments about the service of government.

 Corruption is hampering to our everyday life. We have to rush to the government officer chamber even for the minor problem. We have to pay bribes and they made use lingering and killing our time. Therefore, the ICT knowledge can be a great boon for us if we use it properly and it will help us reduce the corruption.


twitter @brmagar

Position: Inspirator in ActionAid International Uganda



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