Karachi, July 24, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Secretary of Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat Agha Nadeem has said that the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat has cleared the entire pendency of more than hundred thousand public complaints and provided relief above lacs of families in a span of only nine months.
The bulk of these complaints were more than two years old while a significant number was lodged nine to ten years ago. In an unprecedented effort, the Office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib on an average cleared 11, 500 complaints every month as against 4583 being the highest number in any month during the last 30 years. This challenging task has been accomplished in line with the directions of the Prime Minister, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
In a report he said that all the complaints till 2013 have been cleared and this is for the first time in the history of the institution of the Wafaqi Mohtasib that only the current year’s complaints are being attended to.
For the future, the Wafaqi Mohtasib, Mr. Salman Faruqui is committed to decide public complaints within 60 days by the beginning 2015. For the purpose, the Office has strategized improvements in its complaint redress mechanism and process of investigation in such a manner that all complaints would be disposed expeditiously. When achieved, it would be unique accomplishment for an Ombudsman anywhere in the world.
He informed that in dealing with public complaints, this institution has provided free of cost remedy and relief and joy to citizens who seek its help against federal administrative injustice, including misplaced discretion, arbitrariness, discrimination, oppressive legality and unreasonable procedures, as well as in-action, incompetence and inefficiency.
It may be pertinent to mention that out of this huge number of complaints decided, in 99 percent cases the complainant or the Agency did not file any reviews or representations against the decisions issued by the Federal Ombudsman.
This is a huge achievement of the quasi- judicial institution that provides speedy and free of cost alternate system of justice to the common man. Reviews filed are personally attended to by the Wafaqi Mohtasib or heard by a high level committee of senior advisors drawn from the judiciary and civil or military set ups.
These advisors at the Head Quarters and the nine regional offices worked beyond regular office hours and during holidays and Ramadan to decide record number of complaints providing relief to the citizens aggrieved of maladministration of public functionaries.
Similarly, a renewed momentum is being built on implementation of the Ombudsman’s decisions by putting in place a dedicated wing under a former Federal Secretary to ensure compliance by the federal Government agencies. Consequently, out of several thousands of complaints decided by the Office, currently less than two percent are pending implementation so far and are being followed vigorously for early execution.
Likewise, citizen-friendly reforms have been introduced to ensure speedy redress to public complaints. Therefore, in view of the fact that majority of complainants come from the poor and uneducated sections of population, the focus of complaint registration communication has been to not only make it simpler but also available in both languages, i.e., English and Urdu.
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