Majority of local bodies still to hire IT officers

Published On: February 27, 2018 05:00 AM NPT By: Kushal Basnet.

The govt released budget for the purpose four months ago

KATHMANDU, Feb 27: Many local bodies across the country are still to recruit Information Technology (IT) officers even though it has already been three months since the government directed them to hire technical hands.

Out of 753 local units across the country, only 345 have recruited IT officers so far.
Officials of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) said that the ministry sent local bodies needful budget to hire IT officers in November last year.

“We have provided them needful budget to hire IT officers till the end of the current fiscal year,” Purushottam Nepal, a joint secretary at the MoFALD, told Republica “If the local units make delay in recruiting IT officers, the budget made available to them will be frozen.
According to the ministry, local bodies have been saying that transfer of chief administrative officers (CAOs) and confusion regarding academic qualification of IT officers was delaying the recruitment process.

“We have directed the local bodies to form a committee under the chairmanship of CAO to select appropriate candidate for IT officer,” Nagesh Badu, e-Governance Specialist at MoFALD, said. “But local units have been reporting that lack of CAO or transfer of CAO was affecting the recruitment process.”

Badu further said that some local bodies have reported that they were finding it difficult to find candidate holding Bachelor's degree in IT. “We, however, are optimistic that local bodies will expedite recruitment process as they have realized the need for technical hands at their office.”

MoFALD officials also said that the ministry has sent Rs 405 million to the local levels to recruit IT officers. MoFALD will foot remuneration of the IT officials under its regular Local Governance and Community Development Program (LGCDP). 

IT officers will be crucial in making the services of local units more effective through better record keeping, among other things, according to MoFALD officials.

The ministry's direction to allow local units hire IT officials was supposed to create a wave of job opportunities in this sector, which had long been seeing low manpower demand. Job announcements for IT officers were frequently seen in daily newspapers in January. 
According to MoFALD, the IT officers will get a monthly salary of Rs 40,000, excluding allowances like remote area pay. But the officers will be contracted until the end of current fiscal year only.

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