ACE to introduce ‘cost of investigations’

Published: October 19, 2019
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Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) PHOTO: EXPRESS/ File

Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) PHOTO: EXPRESS/ File

LAHORE: The Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab (ACE) has decided to introduce the head of cost of investigations with an aim to encourage transparent procedures and eliminate corrupt tendencies.

Under the head, 30,000-40,000 rupees will be awarded for conducting an inquiry and 50,000-60,000 rupees for investigations of a case.

ACE Director General Muhammad Goher Nafees, in an exclusive talk with The Express Tribune, said they had prepared a summary to be presented before the authorities concerned for approval. A regional director shared with The Express Tribune that the department ensured provision of resources like vehicle, petrol and stationery etc used in the process of official work. However, an amount in the form of cash was not given.

He lauded the step, stating that it would serve as an incentive for the officers, especially honest ones. He added they would try to act proactively and go the extra mile. Nafees added the step would end corrupt tendencies.

Nafees further told The Express Tribune that the department was also working to redefine and introduce fundamental changes to investigations.

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“Current rules and regulations did not clearly define the number of times an investigation could be changed. There have been instances in which the investigation of a case was changed over a dozen times. This became really frustrating and would serve as a blockade in securing fruitful results,” he added.

Revised proposal suggested for change of investigations only at three levels or three times; director, director general and chief secretary, he added. They had identified and proposed amendments to other legal lucanas that served as an obstruction in investigations, he added.

Goher continued that human resource was the backbone of any department. He said they had envisioned a new HR policy as well. According to it, the tenure of posting after deputation was to be specified for two years only. Afterwards, the extension would be considered on the basis of performance, he added. He said that they were going to block induction of repeaters on deputation.

As far as the permanent staff of ACE was concerned, an accountability system inside the origination was also being stressed. The officials/officers involved in corrupt practices will be identified and purged out of the department.

Finally, he vowed to introduce a centralized computerized anti-corruption complaint management system. In two months, they had prepared the system and put it on a test run, he added. Soon, it would be formally launched and introduced in the department across the board. Goher asserted that this will promote efficiency and transparency.

People changed while the system persisted. “My focus of intervention as head of the department is to place in few systems that could streamline and improve the working of department to serve the public and the country,” he concluded.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2019.

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