The commision system


The practice of collecting and sharing commission within the bureacracy in Nepal was observed at the end of the Panchayat System by Madhab P. Poudyal in his book Administrative Reforms in Nepal (National Book Organisation, 1989) p. 207-208. This form of corruption began under the Rana Regime and was only institutionalised in the subsequent decades, Poudyal writes in the same place.

A decade later, Patrick Maegher observed how staffers at line agencies collect commission and share it with their superiours. Many staffers feel compelled to participate in this practice. Commission is mentioned in various passages in Maeghers working paper, now out of print, called “Combating rural public works corruption: Food-for-work programs in Nepal (Working paper)” from 2000 p. 50 onwards.

It’ difficult to document the “commision system”, as local politicians we have talked to call it, and to determine it’s pervasiveness. Collection and sharing of commission happens hidden and in secret. But on the basis of interviews and a few first-hand observations, our impression is that it’s common.

If you disagree, or know of others who have written about it, please let us know in a comment or send us an email. We’ll include it in the crash course under a read more section attached to the chapter. If your experience is similar to ours, but you find there’s more to add, we would be very interested too.

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