KATHMANDU, March 28: Kathmandu District Administration Office (DOA) has asked Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) to suspend its new recruitment process until further notice after a complaint was lodged at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) against NRCS office bearers about alleged irregularities.
DoA wrote to NRCS on March 20 to immediately suspend its new recruitment process for 31 various positions in the organization until a new decision is taken in this regard. NRCS published job vacancies in the Gorkhapatra on February 20 for 31 different top positions. The organization invited applications for posts including that of director, deputy director, senior officer, administrative officer and accounts officer.
According to sources, the DoA’s decision came after NRCS employees submitted a two-page complaint to Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa about alleged irregularities by NRCS office bearers and asked the minister to suspend the recruitment process. Acting on the complaint, the home ministry instructed the DoA to suspend the recruitment process for the time being. The complaint states that NRCS office bearers initiated the recruitment process with an intention to hire individuals close to themselves.
The complaint further states that the recruitment of new employees to the top positions will mean a financial burden of over Rs 20 million for the humanitarian organization.
“After the Home Ministry forwarded the complaint of alleged irregularities to us, we asked the Red Cross to halt the process until another decision,” Chief District Officer Kedarnath Sharma said.
The letter issued to NRCS by the DoA states that complaints of alleged irregularities by the organization on various occasions was lodged at the Home Ministry on March 16.
“We have also been asked to investigate the matter. For now, we have halted the process and a further decision will be taken following investigations,” CDO Sharma said, adding, the DoA will take legal action against NRCS if it is found giving continuity to the recruitment process.
He also said that the Social Welfare Council has also been investigation alleged irregularities by NRCS on various occasions.
The complainants have demanded a probe committee to investigate alleged irregularities by Chairman of NRCS Sanjeev Thapa and other office bearers.
They have cited a probe conducted by the CIAA in February, 2005 that concluded that then treasurer Sanjeev Thapa, then general secretary Dev Ratna Dhakwa and then chairman Ramesh Kumar Sharma had embezzled Rs 1.91 million and asked the DoA Kathmandu to recover the amount from them. “However, no legal action has been taken so far,” reads the complaint.
Last year, documents obtained by Republica showed that NRCS had spent Rs 245 million meant for earthquake victims on administrative activities and the purchase of various luxury items instead of channelling the money for earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Similarly, the humanitarian body was recently found defying government regulations and arbitrarily spending billions without seeking approval from government authorities concerned.
The organization not only got its term renewed, bypassing the Social Welfare Council (SWC) -- the authorized government body for overseeing non-governmental organizations within the country, but it has also been running 98 various projects worth Rs 5.044 billion without seeking prior approval from the government. The SWC had stated that NRCS has been operating arbitrarily despite SWC’s repeated requests to submit project details and ensure transparency.