Beleaguered administration: a study of administrative reforms in Nepal

Bishwambhar Ghimire¬ and Muhammad Ashraf

Although a number of Reform Commissions formed over the years to strengthen public administration, recommended several initiatives to the government, the changes were largely neglected, and some of the initiatives could not even meet the critical needs. Lethargy and inept service are common, making the bureaucracy ineffective and incompetent. Public servants lack commitment and are overwhelmingly influenced by political parties and their ideologies. The traditional administrative process is still bogged down in longer procedures than necessary, and creating quicker services seems to always be latched to some form of corruption. Afno Manchhe (one’s own people), Chakari (Sycophancy), political influence, and bribery are deeply rooted in Nepalese bureaucracy. This paper thus explores and evaluates the attempts of administrative reform and pubic service in Nepal since 1960s. The experience of globalization and new modes of communication have made the public vocal to raise questions about the accountability and effectiveness of public servants in Nepal. While public expectations are growing, the Nepalese public administration seems too slow to change itself. There is now a need to clarify political commitments and explore political-administrative interface.

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