Thursday December 07, 2023

Public trust in Ombudsman office strengthened

February 08, 2023

Islamabad : The Federal Ombudsman appreciated the role of media in promoting awareness regarding the work and importance of the Ombudsman office in countering inefficiency and malpractices and strengthening government offices.

Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, while briefing the Islamabad Crime and Court Reporters Association (ICCRA) in his office today, said that the Ombudsman office is rendering its services in a way that even very poor and people from backward can afford it. He said that maladministration and bad governance are two sides of the same coin. Both breed in an environment of favouritism, discrimination and corruption.

Addressing maladministration, therefore, is essential for ensuring sanctity of human rights and achieving the ultimate goals of good governance and the rule of law. He said that in the absence of Child Ombudsman, the Ombudsman institution has developed a road map for strengthening laws and mechanism for protection of child rights and effective measures to control cybercrimes against children.

The Ombudsman Institution has played its successful role in the journey of four decades in providing speedy and inexpensive relief to a common man. While highlighting the achievements of ombudsman office, he said that it was worth mentioning that year 2022 witnessed the highest ever increase in complaints registration i.e., 164,174 complaints with 49% increase as compared to 2021, and the disposal also reached to all time high of 157,770 marking an increase of 47.7% over the figures of 2021. The Ombudsman said that people’s trust has immensely strengthened resulting in a major increase in the registration of complaints.

He added that complaints worth over Rs3 billion amount were resolved, as against 2.34 billion of last year. This has greatly contributed in reducing the load on judicial courts in the country. Reviewing the performance of Wafaqi Mohtasib’s institution during the last forty years, Qureshi stated that more than 1.9 million households have benefitted from the services of this Office since its inception.

He further said that Outreach Complaint Resolution (OCR) Project is successfully functioning in the far flung areas. It has now been further strengthened by holding Khulli Katchehries. These steps are contributing immensely in providing administrative justice to complainants against the Federal agencies, closer to their houses.

He said that the presence of Ombudsman Office has been expanded to erstwhile FATA areas and recently two sub offices have been established at Wanna (South Waziristan) and Sada (Kurram District), with the sole idea of enhancing its outreach to remote areas. Ejaz Qureshi said that Ombudsman office has diversified its activities by undertaking inspections of various agencies against whom persistent complaints were pouring in. Teams constituted by Ombudsman carried out inspections of agencies such as Passport Office, National Savings (CDNS), Airport, Nadra, Polyclinic, PIMS, Utility Stores, CDA and alike with a view to improving their service delivery. — APP