KARACHI: The Sindh government's Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has decided to set up its own training school in Karachi, where they will train employees to enhance their capacity building against corruption.
In this connection, ACE Chairperson Ghulam Qadir Thebo has moved a summary to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. "Not only a training school, but we have requested the CM to approve a summary to set up a forensic lab to preserve and analyse scientific evidence during the course of an investigation," Thebo said.
"We will get the services of experts from various departments who will train our employees. This will [eventually] help curb corruption in Sindh," he said. Officials in the anti-corruption department said they have already acquired a building that was evacuated by population welfare department where the training centre and forensic lab will be established.
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"The double storey building of the population welfare department, located at the Pakistan Secretariat, is now vacant because they have been shifted to Sohrab Goth where the population welfare complex has now been built," the ACE spokesperson told The Express Tribune. The spokesperson added that the services, general administration and coordination department has allotted the building to the anti-corruption department to set up the training school and forensic lab.
According to the spokesperson, more than 800 employees of anti-corruption department are working across the province and the government has been conducting training for the employees at different hotels. The ACE training school will be the first of its kind in Pakistan, the spokesperson added.
There were reports that the department has failed to pursue high-profile cases and has succumbed to political pressure. "ACE raided the Board of Intermediate Education Karachi offices in August, 2016. As per the law they have to resolve this case in 90 days but there has been no progress on it," said an official on the condition of anonymity. The official added that the then ACE director confiscated the records of thousands of fake mark-sheets, misappropriation of funds and illegal appointments but nothing was done.
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Sources said there are many corruption cases pending since last 10 to 15 years but so far no action has been taken against people involved.
However, Anti-Corruption Department Director Usman Ghani Siddiqui refuted the reports and said they have listed down more than 1,600 absconders - government employees and private persons - involved in various corruption cases and handed the list over to the police for action. "In the last three months, we have initiated inquiries in a Rs1.5 billion tractor subsidy scheme and an investigation has been started against officials of the food, health, irrigation departments," he said.
Siddiqui claimed that in last quarter, they received around 1,710 complaints and conducted 43 raids. "We have arrested around 13 government employees for accepting bribes," he said, adding that they will soon appoint technical and revenue experts, as well as auditors, in the ACE to strengthen the investigation process.