Nepal government has canceled a contract awarded to an international company for verifying citizens’ personal details for issuing the National Identity Card.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the Council of Ministers canceled the contract, annulled the procedure authenticated by former Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane and launched an investigation into the matter.

Home Minister Narayankaji Shrestha informed that the government itself was taking initiatives to create a verification mechanism for biological and personal details but Lamichhane hastily provided the contract to an international private company.

Shrestha informed the government is not convinced with the working procedure for contract rewards and also decided to seize the security deposit for the contract.

According to the Public Procurement Act, a minimum of 45 days should be provided for an international tender bidding process and a minimum of 30 days is required for a national tender.

However, Lamichhane had reduced the deadline to seven days without consultation with other ministries including the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Law.

Advantage International Pvt Ltd, the company that received the contract, was also awarded five other projects related to the Department of the National Identity Card and Civil Registration in 2022.