The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has recovered a massive sum of Rs262 billion in misappropriated funds over a 15-year period, according to a report cataloguing the anti-graft watchdog’s performance. The recovered amount has subsequently been deposited in the national exchequer.
Between 1999 and 2014 the anti-graft watchdog received a total of 270, 675 complaints, and authorised 5,872 inquiries, it said. Some 2,908 cases were converted into investigations and 2,159 references were filed in different accountability courts throughout the country, it added.
The figures are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where the fight against corruption is viewed as a national duty. The growing increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trusted in NAB.
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Established in 1999 as the country’s apex anti-corruption organisation, NAB operates under the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) 1999, which extends to the whole of Pakistan, including Fata and Gilgit-Baltistan. The ordinance empowers the NAB to act against all those involved in corruption and corrupt practices.
Under the leadership of Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, NAB has chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for the eradication of corruption and corrupt practices throughout the country.
With its headquarters in Islamabad, NAB operates out of seven regional offices in the country.
A PILDAT report for the last year shows 42% people trust in NAB while 30 % are for police and 29 % for government officials.
The recent reports of Transparency International also lowered Pakistan rating on its Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 175 to 126 which is a great achievement for Pakistan and can be accredited to the efforts of NAB.
Furthermore, to create awareness against the ill effects of corruption amongst the youth of Pakistan, NAB, in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and over 4,019 Character Building Societies (CBSs) have been established by NAB in universities, colleges and schools to create awareness against corruption, as youths are considered a vanguard in this fight.
On the directions of NAB chief Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been devised to rationalise the workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases putting a maximum limit of 10 months from complaint verification to inquiry to investigation and finally to a reference in the accountability court.
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The NAB chief has a zero tolerance policy against corruption and corrupt practices across the board and hopes that joint efforts of all stakeholders can collaborate to check corruption and corrupt practices before happening with the help of civil society, media and people at large and bring sustainable systematic changes to the governance structure of our country.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2015.