Kapil koirala/ kavrepalanchok
Caritas Nepal has misused the fund received from different donor agencies from all over the world. It has misused the fund by choosing the wrong procurement method and not offering the contract to the lowest bidder. Many procurement processes seem to be bound by conflict-of-interest and commission. Two buildings of the same type have been constructed at Bhuwaneshwori Secondary School located at Sindhupalchowk District. The first building was constructed by the school management committee in around 8,800,000 but Caritas Nepal has shown the cost of 1,4900,000 for its building. Besides, the painting was not completed and the school was handover without verandah around the school building.
In comparison, Caritas made building only have additional slab at the roof level and lacking painting and verandah. Why a relatively same building have so different construction cost?, One parent complained. Now, Caritas Nepal is explaining that the cost was not similar because of 13% Vat, 15% contractor overhead and the additional cost of the roof slab. Initially, the contract was done in lower cost in previous fiscal year but the value of contract was increased in current fiscal year.
The public is not accepting the Caritas Nepal’s explanation because the quality was not ensured in Caritas made building as verandah and painting are not completed. “The value was nearly double and Caritas is claiming its accountability by showing VAT, contractor overhead and the slab”, local said. The locals are arising the question regarding the overall bidding process and quality of work. This school is only the example of corruption and the same thing is happening in all other seven schools. As per the voice of local and district level ex-staff, this school construction was directly handled by the central office and they do not know the entire process.
Manindra Malla, the program manager of Caritas Nepal responded that he will provide the information if we approach him with a written letter. After an email, a controversial staff of the communication department reached us with the information which was not requested by us. The placement of that staff who communicated with us is still controversial. We have requested fair information regarding all construction projects but Caritas Nepal did not respond. Further, the construction of the school in Bulung at Dolakha was supposed to to be completed in May 2019 but it is not completed within 2019. Manindra Malla, the program manager has given many contracts to his relative’s company Central for Development and Justice. The baseline survey project and policy development project was given to his relative’s company which is neither low bidder nor the best company in the technical analysis part. “Caritas does not need low bidder or technical capacity they just need relatives company”, one of the bidder of policy development project complained. What this shows that Caritas do not need a good company or a minimum bidder they just need a relatives company. The payment of the policy development project has been paid without completion of the task.
Caritas Nepal has been involved in controversy both internally and externally since it is constructing a 4-star hotel level resource center in Dhulikhel. The building construction contract was not given to the low bidder and second low bidder. The cost difference between the low bidder and contract winner is more than NPR 15,000,000 and all bidders relatively have same level of strength because all are A-class license holder companies in Nepal. The construction process has been started without submitting the environmental impact analysis. Locals have started the protest in building construction area with black banners. Locals alleged that Caritas has violated the organization’s finance/procurement policy by themselves. The building construction consultant was chosen without public notice; all the bid documents were opened in a closed room, the enterprise development consultant was selected without public notices and the final marking sheet of bidder (60% financial, 40% technical) was not published by Caritas Nepal. This clearly shows how much Caritas authorities are interested in misusing the donor fund.
While talking to president Durga Shrestha said that “we are receiving some complains and need to check it because I am just elected in this position”. After several phone calls with Caritas Nepal’s director Father Lalit Tudu, he did not respond. Manindra Malla program manager was talking with us at the beginning, has stopped picking up the phone. Caritas Nepal has just opened a vacancy for some position for Caritas Poland funded project. There is a rumor that Caritas Nepal has opened these vacancies for providing placement of Manager’s favorite persons in ME and program officer position. These positions are opened without project approval from the social welfare council.