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Chairman National Accountability Bureau address at Civil Services Academy Lahore

Lahore, November 24, 2016 (PPI-OT): It is an honoured to talk to the future leadership of Civil Services and share the efforts of National accountability Bureau. I must express my gratitude to the DG CSA for affording me this opportunity. Bureaucrats are the actual ‘doers’ in the state, in that they perform functions ranging from simple, official paperwork, to recommending policy decisions to governments or signing of MoUs with other countries.

They are the backbone of every country and without an effective bureaucracy, a state would inevitably collapse. All of the country’s effective management rests on a stable and committed bureaucracy. On the other hand, this same system can eat the country from within if it indulges in corruption and malpractice. So any anti-corruption effort must start here in the right earnest. This was stated by Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB while addressing at Civil Services Academy, Lahore.

He said that I would like to share few words from the historic speech of great Leader Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah which are guiding principles for Bureaucracy. While addressing civilian offices in Peshawar in April 1948, “He said “whichever government is formed according to the constitution, and whoever happens to be the prime minister or minister, coming into power in the ordinary course, your duty is only to serve that government loyally and morally but, at the same time, fearlessly, maintaining your high reputation, your prestige, your honour and the integrity of your service.

If you start with that determination, you will make a great contribution to the building up of Pakistan of our conceptions and our dreams a glorious state and one of the greatest nations in the World.” Thus the responsibility of Civil Servants who because of their position in the government Chain have major role to play in the concept of Good Governance.

He said that the good governance is getting maximum benefits for the minimum cost, in terms of efficiency, productivity and quality of life. It can only be achieved through prudent use of available resources. Good governance describes how public institutions conduct Public affairs and manage Public resources. Good governance rests on the values of inclusiveness, accountability, rule of law, transparency and accountability. He said that it is settled that good governance has direct relationship with the economic development of the country and visa a versa.

He said that the menace of corruption has links to a multitude of vices. It leads to injustice, mistrust, suspicion and extremism. It creates a sense of insecurity, hopelessness and despondency. It threatens good values which have been established over centuries of civilized struggle. The twin menace of corruption and poverty are closely interlinked; a surge in one has a direct bearing on the other. Corruption in government spending has a negative impact on development programs and results in perpetual increase in cost of creation and maintenance of public assets.

The particular deadliness of the disease lies in its self-perpetuation. Any corrupt act or practice sets in motion a vicious cycle in which the impact of corruption becomes the source for further acts of corruption. He said that since NAB is essentially a complaint driven organization, an exhaustive system of cognizance of cases has been formulated to standardize the selection of cases for processing. Priority is assigned keeping in view the case nature, the amount of money involved, the social impact and number of affecters.

Top most priority is accorded to corruption complaints against NAB’s own officials. NAB personnel follow a strict code of ethics and conduct, a zero tolerance against corruption is strictly enforced. Since its creation, NAB has adopted the Enforcement based approach in the fight against corruption. Irrespective of their status and social standing, NAB has investigated and prosecuted the corrupt.

He said that NAB accords high priority to cases of cheating public at large which is a serious offence under NAO. Many financial scams involving plundering of common man’s hard earned income and savings have been pursued by NAB, with the goal to recover the looted money and return the same to the rightful owners.

Double Shah Scam, Cooperative Societies Scam, Fake Housing Authorities Scam and Modarabas are only a few to be named. NAB has undertaken concerted efforts to prosecute the master minds of such public frauds. The overall results of the Enforcement drive have been very positive Our Prosecution results have been highly satisfactory, particularly in the recent few years wherein cases have ended in convictions. He said corruption is too complex a phenomenon to be controlled with the Enforcement strategy alone. Controlling corruption on a sustainable and long term basis requires a broader vision and multi-faceted strategy, banking heavily on Awareness and Prevention of corruption in addition to the old Enforcement approach.

The world over, anti-corruption agencies are laying greater emphasis on awareness and prevention. We have started a process of reforms to energize the existing accountability system to improve the efficiency in all spheres of NAB’s working from Awareness and Prevention to Enforcement and Prosecution.

He said the present management since October 2013 has taken serious initiatives aimed that improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Organization. To begin with, an exhaustive and comprehensive introspection exercise was carried out to indentify knowledge gaps and structural deficiencies. Through broad-based consultative process, a comprehensive reform solution was designed. These were followed by targeted reforms in operations, prosecution and Awareness and Prevention. The good work done in 2014 was carried into 2015 and was further polished through the introduction of Monitoring and Evaluation System.

He said that NAB is the focal agency for UNCAC and is a very active member of international community. Pakistan has actively participated in the activities of UNCAC. He said that NAB alone cannot fight this war against corruption. It is a collective social responsibility. The intelligentsia and media have to play an important role. The dream of a corruption free society will remain elusive until we as citizens of Pakistan reduce our corruption tolerance threshold. In the end, he hoped that all stakeholders will hold the principle of ‘zero-tolerance’ to corruption.

I think if all of us start setting example of merit-based decision making, a world of difference can be made. We can start small by setting our own personal and official conduct above any kind of influence and prejudice. Earlier, DG, CSA, highlighted the importance of training for Civil Servants at CSA and appreciated the efforts made by NAB in eradication of corruption from the country. At the end, question answer session was held. The Chairman NAB very professional and in detailed answered the questions of the participants which were appreciated by all concerned.

For more information, contact:
National Accountability Bureau (NAB)
Attaturk Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-111-NAB-NAB (111-622-622)
Fax: +92-51-9214503
Email: chairman@nab.gov.pk, infonab@nab.gov.pk
Website: www.nab.gov.pk

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