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Key anti-corruption files 'not traceable': govt

india Updated: Nov 24, 2013 15:41 IST

Files containing details of the government's plan of reviewing its fight against graft as part of a mandatory obligation under the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) are "not presently traceable".

Replying to an RTI query, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which acts as the nodal authority for anti- graft matters, said the files related to UNCAC were not traceable.

"It is informed that the implementation section has been constituted only recently and the complete set of the relevant files are in the process of being organised.

"The files relating to your subject of request are not presently traceable in the section. However, efforts are being made to locate the files," DoPT said in its reply to an RTI query.

"As and when the said files become physically available, the complete reply to your request on the aforesaid point will be furnished. The delay and inconvenience caused is regretted," DoPT said in its reply dated November 11.

DoPT was asked to provide details as to the government's plan of conducting a self-evaluation study to assess the implementation of the UN convention.

UNCAC, which acts as a universal legal instrument to globally deal with the menace of corruption, was ratified by India on May 9, 2011.

India is slated for a review in the ongoing fiscal 2013-14 by government experts from two other member countries who are signatories to UNCAC.

DoPT had in May last year floated a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the holding of a self-evaluation study by independent experts on India's compliance with UNCAC.

However, in October, it had decided to "close" the proposal for the holding of the study for want of a minimum of three qualifying applicants. DoPT had again in January this year decided to conduct the study and had issued a fresh RFP for the same.

But the second attempt, too, drew no takers who fulfilled the eligibility criteria mentioned in the RFP. DoPT thereafter again cancelled the proposal.

The UN convention requires the parties to it to provide measures, legal and administrative, for prevention of corruption; for treating certain acts relating to corruption as criminal offences and providing for sanctions against them and for facilitating recovery of assets in trans-border corruption.

Besides, it calls for promoting the widest possible international cooperation in combating trans-border corruption through measures facilitating mutual legal assistance, extradition and joint investigation.

India is among 164 nations which have either ratified or acceded to the UNCAC provisions.