The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) assigned highest priority to complaints of corruption against the bureau’s own officials and NAB’s personnel needed to follow a strict code of conduct and visibly exhibit a zero-tolerance policy against corruption, Chairman of NAB Qamar Zaman Chaudhry told the bureau’s officers at its headquarters here on Friday.
Outlining the objectives for setting up the bureau, he said that the bureau had been set up to fight and eradicate corruption in a holistic and integrated manner.
According to him, NAB was dedicatedly striving to accomplish its mission.
“Top most priority is accorded to complaints of corruption against NAB’s own officials and NAB’s personnel need to follow a strict code of conduct and (adopt a) zero-tolerance (policy) against corruption is to be visibly exhibited.”
He said that since 2014 “we have moved with new zeal and effort”.
“Through detailed introspection and analysis of organizational weaknesses, overhaul of procedures and business processes, all pillars of the organization i.e. operations, prosecution, human resource development and awareness and prevention, had been reactivated. Organogram was revisited to transform NAB into a lean, efficient, and responsive organization.”
He said that to eliminate the possibility of any NAB officer influencing the bureau’s official business, the concept of a ‘Combined Investigation Team’ (CIT) was introduced where two investigation officers and a legal consultant worked as a team for a fair, transparent and unbiased, inquiry. “To ensure objectivity and standardization across the board, the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) were examined and revisited through a participative exercise spread over four months for up-gradation and implementation. These SOPs are placed on NAB’s website for convenience of all individuals interacting with NAB.”
He said that since its inception, NAB had recovered Rs274 billion.
He said that an effective accountability mechanism was quintessential for economic growth, investment and stability of social order. The intervention by NAB has acted as a catalyst, as transparency is a prerequisite for promoting investment and economic growth.
Terming corruption too complex a phenomenon to be controlled with an enforcement strategy alone, he said: “Controlling corruption on a sustainable and long term basis requires a broader vision and multi faceted strategy, which banks heavily on awareness and prevention in addition to the enforcement approach.”
He said that NAB laid special emphasis on youth and that was why it had set up 10,000 Character Building Societies (CBS) in universities and colleges across the country.
An MOU was signed in October 2014 with the HEC in this respect.
The National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) is being upgraded in collaboration with the Planning Commission of Pakistan to cater to the present requirements.
“The Planning Commission of Pakistan has included a chapter devoted to issues of corruption in its 11th five year plan and we intend to work closely with the Commission.”
Calling upon the intelligentsia, academia and media to sensitise the people about the adverse social and economic impacts of corruption, he urged all segments of society to join hands with NAB in its campaign for eradicating corruption.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2016.
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