ISLAMABAD - Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz has said that speedy and free of cost justice is being delivered at the doorsteps of the people.
As many as 70,713 complaints were received during the year 2018, out of which 69,563 complaints have been addressed, Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz addressing in a press conference today in Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, Islamabad.
Shahbaz said that the Institution of Wafaqi Mohtasib established 36 years ago has emerged as a vibrant relief providing institution. He said that his office is considered as a poor man’s court which dispenses free of cost justice in a speedy manner. He said that every finding was decided within a period of 60 days and a review petition within 45 days. The Representations against his findings are decided by the President of Pakistan within 90 days. He said to improve the redressal mechanism, the officers of this secretariat visited the remote areas under Outreach Complaint Resolution (OCR) to provide relief at the doorsteps of a common man. Under Public Complaint Resolution Mechanism (PCRM), 247 Agencies (Federal Government Departments) have been taken on board, their Focal Persons have also been nominated who are bound to decide a complaint within the department in 30 days, failing which the same is treated a fresh complaint by this Secretariat under Integrated Complaints Resolution Mechanism (ICRM).
In order to equip these Federal Agencies and to handle ICRM portal, training is being imparted to these departments in phases to improve their skill. He said that in first phase, 20 departments i.e. FIA, Islamabad Police, Ministry of Housing & Works, Ministry of Federal Education, Electric Supply Companies (DISCO’s) and Gas Companies have been included in the ICRM list. The portals of these agencies have been connected with the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat and are regularly monitored. A total of 13,983 complaints were disposed of till 31st December, 2018 under the ICRM.
Under the direction of the President of Pakistan, a comprehensive awareness campaign have been launched, under which PTA and PEMRA have been requested for telecasting the awareness campaign in resolving public complaints by the Wafaqi Mohtasib. The Honourable President also directed to launch a Mobile App to facilitate the general public in accessing the services offered by the Wafaqi Mohtasib. The Honourable President also agreed to chair a joint seminar of Federal & Provincial Ombudsmen to sensitize the people about the role of these offices that resolve the complaints of general public at their doorsteps. We will also hold quarterly seminars around the country for awareness among general public to approach the Wafaqi Mohtasib for resolution of their grievances, he added. He further added that to facilitate the government officials’ Pension Cells have been established in all ministries and departments for in-time processing of their pension cases. We also ordered to disburse the pension of the gazetted officers through their bank accounts from all scheduled banks and this facility would be extended to the non-gazetted officers’ this year.
He said that to facilitate the general public, this office has already introduced a helpline 1055 which provides information between 9 AM to 10 PM. He that on every step/action by the Investigating Officer, a SMS message is sent to the complainant. He said that One Window Facilitation Desks have been established at 08 International Airports of Pakistan to redress complaints of mal-administration/harassment of Overseas Pakistanis and 146,000 complaints resolved during the year 2018. The issues relating to NADRA, FIA, Passport Department, Foreign Office, OPF and Bureau of Immigration are resolved on spot. He further said that under the direction of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, studies were carried out on different systemic issues and report submitted in the Apex Court.