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December 21,2015

Measures recently taken by NAB against corruption

Bushra Khan

ISLAMABAD: Corruption undermines development and good governance. Considering these facts, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established in 1999 as Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organisation which is assigned with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. It operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999 which is extended to whole of Pakistan including Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan. NAB has its Headquarters in Islamabad while it has seven regional offices.

Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB after assumption of his duties has chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) under which NAB has adopted Zero Tolerance Policy and proactive approach to curb corruption and corrupt practices from the country.

NAB has recovered Rs265 billion looted money from the corrupt since its inception and deposited in national exchequer. NAB received 282,931 complaints, authorised 6,250 inquiries, authorised 3,142 investigations and filed more than 2,330 corruption references in the respective Accountability Courts. The figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to the same period of 2013 to 2014. The comparative figures for the latest two years are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB brigade in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty. Increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trust in the NAB.

The Pildat in its report supports the position stated above as 42% people trusted NAB against 30 % for police and 29 % for government officials. The recent report of Transparency International also rated Pakistan in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 175 to 126 which is a great achievement for Pakistan due to Chairman NAB’s efforts in the last 20 years.

To create awareness against the ill effects of corruption among the youth of Pakistan, NAB, in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Over 10, 000 Character Building Societies (CBSs) have been established with the help of NAB and HEC in the country in universities, colleges and schools during the last one year to create awareness about corruption as youths are considered a vanguard in this fight.

NAB has devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System in NAB in order to review and further improve the performance of officers/officials of NAB. Under this grading system, NAB Regional Bureaus will be evaluated at a given criteria 80% will be considered “Outstanding/Excellent”, marks between 60% to 79% will be considered as “Very Good”, marks between 40% to 49% will be considered as “Good”, while marks less than 40% will be considered as “Below Average”.

NAB on the directions of Chairman NAB, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has developed an effective Monitoring and Evaluation System catering to the needs of all concerned having salient features of maintenance of data at each stage including complaint entry, complaint verification, inquiry, investigation, prosecution stage and record preservation of Regional Board Meetings and Executive Board Meetings including case brief, decisions made and list of participants attended the meeting with time & date and setting up of an effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System and ability to analyse data in qualitative and quantitative form having warnings and alarms system for violators.

NAB with improved infrastructure and rationalised workload, timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of case putting a maximum limit of 10 months- from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to investigation and finally to a reference in Accountability Court. In order to ensure uniformity and standardisation, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation officers (IOs) in vogue were reviewed and revised after a gap of 10 years in order to benefit from the experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers, a system of CIT comprising of Director, Additional Director, Investigation Officer and a Senior Legal Counsel has been put in place. This will not only lend quality to the work but also ensure that no single individual can influence the proceedings. The implementation of enforcement measures and prosecution matters are being monitored in NAB through daily, weekly and monthly reports and inspections.

NAB has decided to give priority to corruption cases i.e.; normal cases from Rs100-200 million, Complex Cases from Rs500-1,000 million and Mega Cases Rs1,000 million and above for mega cases.

NAB under the leadership of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB has initiated an internal accountability drive and the inefficient, unscrupulous and delinquent officers are being weeded out and proceeded against under relevant provisions of law. A Special Integrity Management Cell has been set-up in NAB Headquarters. Furthermore, NAB has designed an Automated Monitoring and Evaluation System for effective monitoring of the performance of individual officers, prosecutors and the field formation. This will replace and substitute the existing paper bases, time-lagged reporting system and will add efficiency and quality to the official business.

NAB has established its first Forensic Science LAB (FSL) in NAB Rawalpindi/Islamabad Regional Bureau. The Forensic Science LAB has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis. NAB intends to establish NAB’s Anti-Corruption Academy at Islamabad for capacity building of NAB officers/Officials.

NAB under the dynamic leadership of Chairman NAB, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry strongly believes in Zero Tolerance Policy against Corruption. NAB’s Anti-corruption campaign is carried widely for awareness and prevention of corruption besides Enforcement across the board. NAB hopes that joint efforts of all stakeholders can collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with the help of all stakeholders, civil society, media and people at large and bring sustainable systematic changes to the governance structure of our country.

NAB has devised a centralized monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance with the SOP’s and prescribed timelines. The meeting reviewed the performance of NAB’s field formations and expressed satisfaction that the schedule and timelines were being observed. It also evaluated the efficacy of the concept of CIT and observed that the CIT had indeed improved on the quality of investigations as well as the professional capacity of Investigation officers (IOs).

The Internal Accountability Mechanism (IAM) recently devised will ensure quick and effective monitoring and evaluation of all levels of work force in NAB.

NAB has proposed establishment of Anti-Corruption Network of Saarc countries for collaborative efforts for eradication of corruption on the basis of best practices. NAB has proposed Ministry of Law and Justice that Whistle Blowing Protection Act is imperative for the country under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), legislation on Whistle Blowing is an obligation on Pakistan. The Prime Minister has approved Whistle Blower Protection Bill which will now be placed before Federal Cabinet for further necessary action. On the directions of Chairman NAB, NAB’s newly recruited 1,104 Investigation Officers are being trained at Police Training College Sihala on modern lines. NAB has also planned establishment of NAB’s Anti-Corruption Academy at Islamabad for capacity building of NAB officers/officials on the pattern of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy.

On the directions of Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, NAB has started Awareness and Prevention Campaign besides Enforcement drive to make people aware of the ill effects of corruption and arrest the corrupt, proclaimed offenders and absconders for taking them to task as per law across the country. NAB is mandated to carry out Awareness and Prevention functions against corruption in pursuance of section 33C NAO 1999. Under its proactive approach, NAB has been engaging different Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations and civil society in fight against corruption. In this context following steps have been taken by NAB:-

a. NAB has organised a national Seminar on World Anti-Corruption Day at Aiwan Sadr, Islamabad which was chaired by the Honorable President of Pakistan on World Anti-Corruption Day on December 09, 2015.

b. NAB has also organised a walk at Aiwan-Sadr which was led by the Honorable President of Pakistan in which people from all walks of life participated and join hands with NAB in its awareness campaign to “Say No to Corruption”.

c. NAB and UNODC have organised a seminar at Marriott Hotel, Islamabad which was chaired by the President of Pakistan who supported NAB’s campaign against corruption across the country.

d. NAB and Pildat have organised a seminar at Serena Hotel, Islamabad which was widely attended by people from all walks of life to join hands with NAB in its national awareness campaign against corruption.

e. NAB and WAPDA have organized a seminar at WAPDA house Lahore, which was attended by prominent Journalists, writers and people from all walks of life and join hands with NAB in its national awareness campaign against corruption.

f. NAB has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Higher Education Commission (HEC) for creating awareness amongst students of various Universities.

g. Collaboration with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) - Pakistan Cricket Team Message of NAB “Say No to Corruption” before leaving for ICC World Cup 2015.

h. Collaboration with Pakistan Hockey Federation – Pakistan Hockey Team joined NAB to highlight its message “Say No to Corruption”.

i. IESCO has started printing NAB message “Say No to Corruption” on 2.4 million electricity bills from February 2015.

k. NAB, in collaboration with Pakistan Post, has specially designed and formally issued a commemorative stamp with slogan “Say No to Corruption” to mark the World Anti-Corruption Day.

l. NAB, in collaboration with Islamabad Traffic Police has started printing NAB message “Say No to Corruption” on all driving licences.

m. NAB, in collaboration with Islamabad Traffic Police has started printing NAB message “Say No to Corruption” on all driving licenses.

n. NAB in Collaboration with PTA has disseminated NAB message “Say No to Corruption” to all mobile phone subscribers across the country through different mobile phone companies at the eve of World Anti-Corruption Day in order to have awareness about the ill effects of corruption.

o. NAB in Collaboration with PIA has highlighted NAB message “Say No to Corruption” in all flights of PIA in country and aboard. NAB’s initiative was appreciated by all passengers travelling through PIA in a very positive way.

p. NAB in Collaboration with Pakistan Film Censor Board continuously being aired NAB’s video message “Say No to Corruption” in all Cinema Houses of the country after the National Anthem. NAB’s this initiative has been appreciated by the public at large in order to aware people about the ill effects of corruption.

q. NAB’s message “Say No to Corruption” is being carried by all ATM machines across the country.

r. Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination decided to join hands with NAB to print NAB message “Say NO to Corruption” on all cigarette packs across the country.

s. NAB has proposed Motorway Police to join hands with NAB in its awareness campaign and disseminate pamphlets carrying NAB message “Say No to Corruption” among the travelers on all motorways across the country.

t. NAB has proposed CDA to join hands with NAB in its awareness campaign and display billboards carrying NAB message “Say No to Corruption” on the main tourist sites of Islamabad such as Daman-e-Koh, Shakar Pariyah, Zero Point and Hill on express way to Airport.

u. NAB message “Say No to Corruption” is being printed on all government tenders issued for publication in newspapers in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan.

The Chairman NAB, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said that NAB strongly believes in Zero Tolerance Policy against Corruption. NAB’s Anti-corruption campaign is carried widely for awareness and prevention of corruption besides Enforcement across the board. NAB hopes that joint efforts of all stakeholders can collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with the help of all stakeholders, civil society, media and people at large and bring sustainable systematic changes to the governance structure of our country.


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