Cumbersome process: Ombudsman asks ministries to resolve complaints

Writes letters to 35 ministries and departments to devise mechanism for redressal of grievances by Aug 25


Sehrish Wasif August 21, 2016
“It is a fact that majority of people in our country lack information about the function of various ministries/ divisions/attached department,” Khokar said. PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: The federal ombudsman secretariat has issued letters to different ministries and departments for devising a mechanism to resolve public complaints by August 25, documents available with The Express Tribune show.

The grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis to the federal ombudsman has written a letter to 32 ministries, divisions, attached departments and subordinate offices organisations to create a mechanism for resolving complaints under the supervision of an officer of BS-19 or above.

Moreover, it has ordered setting up a helpline for public complaints and guidance and advised them to display notifications and distribute brochures about the ambit of a ministry or division or attached department for public guidance and awareness.

“The public compliant resolution and helpline mechanism may ensure that the public as well as the staff/officials of the government offices are aware of where to complain, how to complain, what information is required for registering complaints among others,” say the documents.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistani senior adviser law Ahsan Ahmad Khokar said, “The federal ombudsman continuously keeps on receiving complaints from the general public regarding services and attitude of the government officials.”

He said majority of the complaints are against Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) especially passport office,  Allama Iqbal Open University, Ministry of Housing and Works, Ministry of Communication especially the National Highway Authority (NHA).

“It is a fact that majority of people in our country lack information about the function of various ministries/ divisions/attached department,” Khokar said.

He said when people visit these government offices they usually do not know which department can offer the required services. “For the common people, it is usually a difficult experience going to government offices because of the lethargic attitude of the officials and lazy services,” he said.

However, he said, the federal ombudsman has laid stress on the provision of timely feedback to the complaints which is an essential feature of an effective management system.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2016.

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