Corruption needs to be uprooted to have brighter future: NAB Chief

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 9 (APP): Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Friday said corruption needs to be uprooted to have a brighter and prosperous future.

The chairman was addressing a function held here at Aiwan-e-Sadr in connection with World Anti-Corruption Day.

He said corruption is a symptom and an outcome of institutional weakness, with potentially adverse effects on a country’s economic performance.

He said presence of President Mamnoon Hussain signifies his commitment to cause of anti-corruption and indeed demonstrates his unflinching determination, continued support and guidance for fight against corruption.

He has championed cause of anti-corruption through his words, deeds and actions. The ill-effects of corruption, the threat it poses to the socio-economic fabric, the way it is eating into very vitals of society are the issues dear to his heart and has been raising these issues at all levels.

The chairman said on this day (December 9) the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) opened for signing at Merida, Mexico in 2003. It is a testimony to unity and binding commitment of International community to combat corruption in all its manifestations.
The UN General Assembly through resolution had designated December 9 as International Anti-Corruption Day which is observed across the globe to create awareness among masses.

He said NAB was established to fight and eradicate corruption in a
holistic and integrated manner. NAB is essentially a complaint driven organization. An exhaustive system of cognizance of cases has been formulated to standardize the selection of cases for processing.

Priority is assigned keeping in view the nature of the case, the amount of monies involved, the social impact and the number of affectees.

He said there have been many ups & downs in NAB’s journey since its inception. But I must bring on record the hard work put in by all ranks of NAB towards their national duty, particularly in last three years.

He said starting with year 2014 which must be called a year of reinvigoration, we have moved with new zeal and effort. Through detailed introspection and analysis of organizational weaknesses, overhaul of procedures and business processes, all pillars of organization i.e. operations, prosecution, human resource development and awareness and prevention have been reactivated and energized.

The chairman said on enforcement front, which is core function of NAB, performance speaks for itself: NAB finalized 1114 Inquiries in 2015 as compared to 585 in 2014 and only 243 in 2013; similarly, 402 investigations were finalized in 2015 as compared to 188 in 2014 and 129 in 2013.

Around 397 references were filed in courts in 2015 as compared to 208 in 2014 and 119 in 2013.

The chairman NAB said a number of strategic initiatives have been undertaken, aimed at rejuvenation of the organization. The Organogram was revisited to transform NAB into an efficient and responsive organization. Through induction of 260 officers in 2014 and another batch of 134 officers in 2015 who were trained at the Police Training College, Sihala, NAB’s Human Resource has been sufficiently improved.

Time limits have been laid down in the Standard Operating Procedures for completion of various stages of operational assignments. Complaint Verification will be completed in two months.

Inquiry & investigation stages will be completed in four months each. Thus a total of 10 months have been laid down to file a Reference in the Court.

He said to ensure objectivity and standardization across the board, the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) are placed on NAB’s website for convenience of all individuals interacting with NAB.

It is measured through a Quantifiable Grading System (QGS). Grading of NAB’s seven Regions has been conducted for Calendar year 2015 under QGS. Results have been published and NAB Karachi Region has been adjudged the best Region for 2015.

NAB is also operating a fair and effective Internal Accountability Management (IAM) System for its officers and staff. A web based Monitoring & Evaluation System (MES) has also been implemented. The work output of each & every Investigation Officer is reflected on Executive Dash Board at all Executive levels.

He said NAB as the apex anti-corruption organization, through its committed efforts has recovered Rs. 279.248 billion ($ 2.79 billion) since its inception.

The chairman said corruption is too complex a phenomenon to be controlled with enforcement strategy alone. Controlling corruption on a sustainable and long term basis requires a broader vision and multi faceted strategy, which banks heavily on awareness and prevention of corruption in addition to the Enforcement approach.

Special focus is, therefore, being given to awareness and prevention activities to educate people at large about ill effects of corruption.

Youth is the future of Pakistan; therefore NAB has laid special emphases on youth. More than 42,000 Character Building Societies (CBS) have been set up in educational institutions across the country to build an effective edifice against corruption.

He said it is encouraging for NAB that for the first time Anti-Corruption has been made a part of development agenda in Pakistan in the context of Governance.

The chairman said on multilateral front, NAB initiated a dialogue of the anti-corruption authorities of the SAARC countries with a proposal to set up a SAARC Anti-Corruption Forum.

He said fight against corruption is tough and long-drawn. But it can only be won with the support of all segments of society and cooperation.

“We will do it, whatever it takes. Together we can do it. Together we will do it,” he added.