‘Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman’ resolves to promote good governance

ISLAMABAD       -        The ‘Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman’ (FPO) has reiterated its resolve to act as a platform for promoting the cause of ombudsmanship and robust public opinion against maladministration, discrimination, favouritism, corruption and alike.

The 27th meeting of the ‘Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman’ (FPO) was held at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat here on Tuesday. Dr Asif Mahmood Jah, Federal Tax Ombudsman/President FPO chaired the meeting which was attended by Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, Federal Ombudsman and President of AOA; Ms Fauzia Viqar, Federal Ombudsman for Protection Against Harassment at Workplace; Muhammad Kamran Shehzad, Banking Ombudsman; Nazar Muhammad Baloch, Provincial Ombudsman Balochistan; Ms Nabila Khan, Provincial Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace Punjab; Ms Rukhshanda Naz, Provincial Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace, KP; and Ms Noor Jahan Maingal, Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment at Workplace, Balochistan, while Syed Tahir Raza Secretary to Provincial Ombudsman Punjab participated on behalf of Ombudsman of Punjab. Established in April 2011, the forum is a non-political, independent and professional network of ombudsmen in Pakistan.

Its membership includes the Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, the Ombudsman of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, all Provincial Ombudsmen in Pakistan and Ombudsmen in specialised fields ie banking, tax matters, insurance and protection against harassment of women at the workplace. The FPO operates across Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir for coordinating activities of ombudsman institutions to advance good governance and improve operations, service delivery and effectiveness in their respective areas of competence. The FPO meeting coincided with the 40th-anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the institution of the Federal Ombudsman in Pakistan.

The forum appreciated that the ombudsmanship has come of age in the country and the institution is working as an effective mechanism for providing speedy and inexpensive justice to the general public against maladministration by government agencies. The meeting took important decisions with a view to strengthening mutual cooperation in promoting core values of administrative propriety, rule of law, good governance and inviolability of human dignity. The forum agreed to take concrete steps to create greater awareness among the public about their rights and obligations and the availability of the ombudsman institution for provision of speedy and inexpensive relief against administrative excesses by government agencies.

The FPO meeting reiterated its resolve to act as a platform for promoting the cause of ombudsmanship and robust public opinion against maladministration, discrimination, favouritism, corruption and alike. The forum agreed to maintain regular interaction among its member institutions with a view to sharing knowledge and best practices in carrying out the statutory role in their respective fields. It decided to establish a dedicated FPO Secretariat to plan, implement and coordinate its activities in a professional manner on a sustainable basis.

The meeting took note of Pakistan’s pivotal role in promoting ombudsmanship at the international level. Currently, Pakistan holds the positions of the President of the Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA), Secretary General of the OIC Ombudsman Association (OICOA) and Directors in the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI). In this regard, FPO expressed its resolve to contribute in strengthening mutual cooperation with its international partners in all fields of professional interest and pursuing the common goals and aspirations of its membership.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt