`Media houses in Canada equipped with ombudsman offices` -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

`Media houses in Canada equipped with ombudsman offices`

KARACHI: The office of ombudsman is one of the easiest ways through which people can get their grievances redressed, said Kevin Fenwick, chief of the Forum of Canadian Ombudsman.

He added that there were a large number of ombudsmen in Canada and many organisations, including universities and media houses, had established the office of ombudsman so that problems being faced by the people relating to their respective organisations could be solved quickly and easily.

Mr Fenwick was speaking at the concluding session of a two-day workshop, Fair Practices , which was organised by the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman (FPO) with the Canadian International Development Agency assistance.

The workshop concluding on Friday was the second in the series of such programmes being conducted by a two-member team comprising Mr Fenwick and Jeff Cain in Pakistan.

Only a few days back, the first workshop was organised in Islamabad.

Sharing his experience, Mr Fenwick said that they had learnt a lot by exchange of views and feedback from participants in the workshop. He observed that the issues being faced by people in Pakistan and Canada were similar in nature. He expressed hope that the participants were better equipped to deal with such issues. He added that his recent experience would help him in discharging his duties more effectively.

Earlier, FPO chief Dr Shoaib Suddle said that though the office of ombudsman had been established in the mid-1980s in the country which currently had 10 ombudsmen — four in the provinces, one in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir and five in the federal government, the Forum of the Pakistan Ombudsman had been established last year.

He said that the office of the ombudsman was to check the maladministration of the public offices and to ensure good governance and fair practices. He said that such workshops help ombudsman sharpen their skills.

“It is necessary to learn how to phrase questions to get required information without offending someone,” he added.

Currently there was a fair amount of work for the offices of the ombudsman, he said, but expressed hope that the sufferings of people due to maladministration would lessen if the fair practices were adopted along with good governance.

The participants were awarded certificates at the end.

Dawn