Role of media important in sensitizing public about functioning of Ombudsman’s office
Federal Ombudsman (FO) Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi has termed the role of media highly significant in sensitizing the general public about the functioning of the Ombudsman’s institution. At a briefing held for the office-bearers of the Islamabad Crime and Court Reporters Association (ICCRA) on Tuesday, the Federal Ombudsman said his institution was trying its most to provide justice to the poor and backward classes against excesses committed by various government offices, departments, agencies, etc.
Maladministration and bad governance are two sides of the same coin, he said adding both took roots in the soil of favoritism, discrimination and corruption.
Addressing maladministration, therefore, is essential for ensuring sanctity of human rights and achieving the ultimate goals of good governance and the rule of law, said Ejaz Qureshi who has 50-year experience in bureaucracy.
The Ombudsman institution, he said, had developed a roadmap for strengthening laws and mechanisms for protection of child rights and effective measures to control cyber crimes against children. The Ombudsman Institution has also played a successful role for the last four decades in providing speedy and inexpensive relief to common man, he added.
While highlighting the achievements of Ombudsman’s office, he said it was worth-mentioning that the year 2022 witnessed the highest-ever increase in complaints registration i.e. 164,174 complaints with 49pc increase as compared to 2021, and the disposal also reached to all time high of 157,770 marking an increase of 47.7% over the figures of 2021. The Ombudsman said that people’s trust has immensely increased resulting in a major increase in the registration of complaints. He added that complaints worth over Rs. 3 billion amount were resolved, as against Rs2.34 billion last year. This has greatly contributed to lessening the load on judicial courts in the country. Reviewing the performance of the Wafaqi Mohtasib’s institution during the last forty years, Mr. Qureshi stated that more than 1.9 million households have benefitted from the services of this Office since its inception.
He further said that the Outreach Complaint Resolution (OCR) Project was successfully functioning in the far flung areas. It has now been further strengthened by holding Khuli Katcheries. These steps are contributing immensely to providing administrative justice to complainants against the federal agencies, closer to their houses.
He said that the presence of Ombudsman’s office has been expanded to erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) areas and recently two sub-offices have been established at Wanna (South Waziristan) and Sada (Kurram District), with the sole idea of enhancing its outreach to remote areas. Ejaz Qureshi said the Ombudsman office had diversified its activities by undertaking inspections of various agencies against which persistent complaints were pouring in. A number of teams constituted by the Ombudsman carried out inspections of agencies such as Passport Office, National Savings (CDNS) , Airport , NADRA ,Polyclinic, PIMS, Utility Stores, CDA and alike with a view to improving their service delivery.
Under the Informal Resolution of Disputes, 114 cases have been disposed of since its introduction in April, 2022 and 266 cases are in process, he added. He reiterated that a large number of Overseas Pakistanis were also facilitated at all International Airports under One Window Facilitation Desk, where their complaints are resolved on the spot.
Source: Pakistan Observer