Ombudsman Secretariat clears all pending 100,000 complaints

KARACHI: The Secretary of Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, Agha Nadeem, has said that the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat had cleared the entire pendency of more than 100,000 public complaints and provided relief to over 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 of them was lodged nine to 10 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 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif,” he said in a report.

He said that all the complaints till 2013 were cleared and it was for the first time in the history of the institution of the Wafaqi Mohtasib that only current year’s complaints were being attended. “For the future, the Wafaqi Mohtasib, 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 will be disposed expeditiously. When achieved, it will be unique accomplishment for an Ombudsman anywhere in the world,” he said.

He informed that in dealing with public complaints, this institution had 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 noted that 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.

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