Ombudsman’s office decides complaints pending since 2013

DG says 9,113 cases decided.

Our Correspondent July 28, 2014

FAISALABAD: The regional office of the wafaqi mohtasib (ombudsman) has decided all pending 9,113 complaints it received by 2013.

Talking to reporters on Sunday, Dr Tariq Sardar, the Wafaqi Mohtasib’s (Federal Ombudsman) Regional Office director general, said a comprehensive strategy had been evolved to decide public complaints against government departments and their employees.

“We have decided all the complaints pending against the Wapda, the SNGPL, the NADRA, the Pakistan Post Office and the Accounts Office,” he said.

“Ombudsman Salman Faruqui assumed office in 2012. At that time, there was a backlog of 6,486 complaints at the Faisalabad regional office,” he said. Dr Sardar said an additional 2,627 complaints were registered during 2013.

“Following the federal ombudsman’s instructions, all the pending cases till 2013 have been decided by a special team of advisers,” he said.

Dr Sardar said the federal ombudsman had decided 102 out of 124 review petitions.

“The federal ombudsman also took suo motu notices against delay in the issuance of passports, death of children due to measles, gas and electricity overbilling and delay in release of pensions,” he said.

Dr Sardar said the federal government had amended the President’s Order-1 of 1983 through legislation to strengthen the ombudsman’s office. “The new legislation has granted us powers under the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, as well as the power to grant stay orders. Now, we can stop the salary of any government officer who does not comply with the mohtasib’s orders,” he said.

Dr Sardar said the Federal Ombudsman institution had been providing justice to people since 1983, when it was founded. “For 30 years, the department has provided timely justice to millions of people across the country. This institution has been mandated to deal with all types of irregularities in the government organisations and their functionaries,” he said.

Dr Sardar said the federal government had extended the jurisdiction of the department to include the Karachi Electric Supply Company.

“The federal ombudsman has directed the regional offices throughout the country to decide complaints in accordance with the provisions of the 2013 Act,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2014.