ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry Tuesday said eradication of corruption was top priority of NAB.
He said this while addressing as chief guest at the inaugural session of 22nd Annual DGs Conference of NAB held at NAB Headquarter. The conference will continue till September 27, 2017, says a press release.
He said NAB was committed to eradicate corruption with absolute professionalism, transparency and on merit with iron hands.
Corruption was mother of all evils which undermined development and was one of the major hurdles in the way of prosperity and progress of the country, he added.
He said considering these facts, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established as Pakistan’s apex Anti-corruption organization which was assigned with the responsibility of elimination of corruption and Corrupt Practices and recovers looted money from corrupt and deposits it in national exchequer.
He said that after assumption of responsibilities as Chairman NAB, he had taken various initiatives to revamp NAB.
NAB devised a comprehensive and effective National Anti-Corruption Strategy comprising of holistic approach of Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy across the board to eradicate corruption and corrupt practices.
He said that NAB operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999 which is extended to whole of Pakistan including FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.
He said that NAB has its National Headquarter in Islamabad and had five Regional Bureaus located at Lahore, KP, Baluchistan, Karachi and Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
During the tenure of present management of NAB, we have established three new Regional Bureaus at Multan, Sukkur and Gilgit Baltistan in order to address the complaints of people living in far flung areas at their doorsteps about corruption and corrupt practices.
He said that NAB starting from the year 2014 which can be called basically a year of rejuvenation of NAB, moved with new zeal and effort.
Through detailed introspection and analysis of organizational weaknesses, overhaul of procedures and business processes, all pillars of the organization i.e. Operations, Prosecution, Human Resource Development and Awareness and Prevention have been reactivated.
Today, NAB’s operational methodology comprises of complaint verification, inquiry and investigation.
He said that the comparative figures from 2014 to 2017 are indicative of the hard work being put in by all ranks of NAB staff in an atmosphere of renewed energy and dynamism, where fight against corruption is being taken as a national duty.
Increase in the number of complaints also reflects enhanced public trust in the NAB.
NAB with improved infrastructure and rationalized workload, timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of case putting a maximum limit of 10 months-from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to investigation and finally to a reference in Accountability Court.
In order to ensure uniformity and standardization, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation officers (IOs) in vogue were reviewed and revised after a gap of 10 years in order to benefit from the experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers, a system of CIT comprising of Director, Additional Director, Investigation Officer and a Senior Legal Counsel has been put in place.
This will not only lend quality to the work but also ensure that no single individual can influence the proceedings.
The implementation of enforcement measures and prosecution matters is being monitored in NAB through daily, weekly and monthly reports and inspections.
NAB has established its first Forensic Science Lab (FSL) in NAB Rawalpindi which has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis.
Since NAB’s inception, one of NAB’s major achievements is recovery of around Rs. 290 billion of ill-gotten money from corrupt and deposited in the national exchequer which is a remarkable achievement of NAB.
He said that the present management of NAB has devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System in 2014 in order to further improve the performance of NAB Headquarter and all Regional Bureaus.
Under Quantified Grading System, NAB Headquarter and Regional Bureau’s are being evaluated for the last three years on Annual and Midterm basis at a given criteria which has proved very successful and the performance of NAB’s Regional Bureaus is being increased day by day due to regular monitoring and inspection.
He said that NAB had organized SAARC Seminar in Islamabad in 2015 in which SAARC member countries including India participated and appreciated the Anti-Corruption Strategy adopted by NAB in curbing corruption as Pakistan is role model for SAARC countries due to its proactive and effective Awareness, Prevention and Enforcement Anti-Corruption Strategy.
Today, NAB is the first Chairman of SAARC countries Anti-Corruption Forum which is great achievement for Pakistan due to NAB efforts.
He said that NAB has devised a state of the art Monitoring and Evaluation System (MES) which was introduced at NAB Headquarter and NAB’s regional Bureaus in order to measure the effectiveness of performance which help in enhancing the operational, monitoring and evaluation capabilities of NAB at NAB Headquarter.
The main purpose of effective Monitoring and Evaluation System (MES) is to cater to the needs of all concerned having salient features of maintenance of data at each stage including complaint entry, complaint verification, inquiry, investigation, prosecution stage and record proceedings of Regional Board Meetings and Executive Board Meetings including case brief.
MES has the ability to analyze data in qualitative and quantitative terms having warnings and alarms system for violators.
Monitoring and Evaluation System (MES) is a web-based application, user friendly and interactive online system developed to enhance the operational, monitoring and evaluation capabilities of NAB.
He said that NAB has recruited new Investigation officers in 2015 and in 2017 on merit. The Investigation Officers recruited in 2017 under Eight Investigator’s Basic Induction Course-(IBIC) were purely on merit and transparently through a very competitive process.
The selection process was outsourced to the National Testing Service (NTS) which conducted academic as well as psychological tests. 94,165 applications were received in response to Advertisement. 80,377 (eighty thousand three hundred seventy seven) candidates were shortlisted for 97 posts and 70 Investigation Officers joined training at Police Training College Sihala on modern lines as NAB always gives top priority to training of its Investigation Officers and Prosecutors.
In order to further improve the capacity building of investigation officers of NAB, UNODC and Australian National Police arranged capacity building training courses for NAB investigation Officers/Prosecutors. Recently, National Crime Agency (NCA) UK has carried out Training Need Analysis (TNA) for NAB in consultation with the concerned Division of NAB.
The contents of five courses have been finalized and first course will start from October 2, 2017 in Pakistan in 06 identified fields by experts.
He said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is also in pipeline between NAB and NCA for cooperation in the Anti-Corruption work and sharing of training facilities after approval of the authorities at both ends.
He said that NAB intends to establish its own National Anti-Corruption Training Academy on the pattern of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy in Islamabad in order to arrange capacity building trainings of its Investigation Officers/Prosecutors.
He said that NAB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China in 2016 for cooperation in the fields of anti-corruption.
In the context of CPEC this cooperation will boost confidence in projects undertaken as signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Pakistan and China is specially significant in the backdrop of increasing economic and trade cooperation between Pakistan and China with the resolve by both the governments to work in a fair, impartial and corruption free environment in order to share their experiences to eradicate corruption.
Another MoU is proposed to be signed with Malaysia this year.
Details are being worked out.
He said in order to create awareness against the ill effects of corruption among the youth of Pakistan, NAB in collaboration with HEC signed MOU in 2015. NAB established over 45, 000 Character Building Societies (CBSs) in universities, colleges/schools to create awareness against corruption as youths are considered a vanguard in this fight.
NAB has set the target that at the end of 2017, the number of Character Building Societies (CBS) should reach at least 55000 in order to make students aware about the ill effects of corruption.
He said that due to our hard work, dedication and commitment with the cause of eradication of corruption, Transparently International (TI) in its report of 2016, has improved CPI of Pakistan plus 9 points. This is a great achievement for Pakistan due to NAB efforts.
The PILDAT in its report supported the position stated above as 42% people trusted NAB against 30% for police and 29% for government officials.
The World Economic Forum according to Global Competitiveness Index rated Pakistan from 126 to 122 this year which is great achievement of Pakistan due to efforts and measures taken by the present management of NAB to eradicate corruption from the country.