With an objective to ‘identify and celebrate Nepal’s most honest government official’, five high performing civil servants have been shortlisted for the Integrity Idol 2016 award.

The 3rd national campaign of its kind saw nominations from over 850 government officials from across the country. From the list, five of them were shortlisted for the award by a panel of independent experts on December 22.

Women Development Inspector of Jumla, Bindu Kunwar; Under Secretary of National Reconstruction Authority, Bhisma Kumar Bhusal; Principal of Gulmi-based Siddhababa Higher Secondary School, Dor Bikram Shrees; Principal of Bhaktapur-based Bageshwari Higher Secondary School, Krishna Dhanchha; and Health Assistant of Dhankuta-based Mainabudhuk Health Post, Tara Subedi, have been selected for consideration of the award.

After the shortlist was announced, voting has been made open to the general public. The winner will be decided by public vote on January 5. Public can cast their votes through SMS and online for their favorite civil servants 24 hours until the deadline.

The organizer, Accountability Lab, which has been working to promote accountability and transparency, said the award is given every year to highlight and honor Nepal’s honest government officials instead of always defaming and criticizing the bad ones. They said the campaign brings Nepalis from across the country into conversation about what it means to be a person of integrity.

“Despite the corrupt system in Nepal, some civil servants are very honest, hardworking and dedicated in doing the best in their assigned tasks,” said Narayan Adhikari, chief of Accountability Lab Nepal.

“Instead of always talking about the bad ones, this campaign is a positive movement that acknowledges and highlights those who serve the public while embodying the values of integrity, transparency and accountability.”

According to him, Integrity Idol also provides motivation for honest government officials to continue doing well for public welfare, while also serving as inspiration to their fellow civil servants to follow suit.

“It will make government officials aware that the public is watching and judging them,” added Adhikari.

Head of Panchthar district education, Gyan Mani Nepal, and Gulmi’s Chief District Officer Pradip Kanel were crowned the country’s first and second Integrity Idols, respectively in the past two years.