"SAY NO TO CORRUPTION" campaign to continue in 2017: Chairman NAB

ISLAMABAD, Dec 7 (APP): National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Monday said the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) had started showing results as the number of complaints received this year reached 28,844 so far.
The number of complaints lodged with the Bureau last year was 19,997 and the increase reflected enhanced public trust, he said in an exclusive interview with APP.
The NAB Chairman said of the total complaints, 11,774 had been verified, 5,723 moved to inquiry stage, and 2,432 authorized for investigation. So far 1,131 references had been prepared and filed in respective Accountability Courts this year, he added.
Listing the measures taken since taking charge of the Bureau, Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said these included introduction of  Combined Investigation Teams (CIT), review of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – making them relevant to current times, clearly defined Job Descriptions, rational timelines for completing investigations, capacity building tailored around specific job requirements and rationalization of workload, which had started
showing positive results.Partly Quantified Grading System and Internal Accountability Mechanism (IAM) had improved quality of the working in NAB, he added.
The Chairman said a mechanism had been developed where all the regional offices were updating the headquarters minute by minute through an Internet system about details of complaints received and court cases.He shed light on the newly established Monitoring and
Evaluation System (MES) having salient features of maintenance of data at each stage including complaint entry, complaint verification, inquiry, investigation, prosecution stage and
record preservation.He said Internal Accountability Mechanism had been devised
with a view to weed out such elements that bring a bad name to the organisation. Action was also taken against inefficient employees.
The Chairman said the NAB with improved infrastructure and rationalized workload had prescribed timelines 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 the Accountability Court. This included two months for complaint verification, four months for inquiry and four months for investigation.
Replying to a question, the Chairman said a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) had been chalked out and it would not be out of place to mention that Bureau had prosecuted the corrupt, irrespective of their status and social standing.
Thew NAB, he said, had so far recovered over Rs 265.12 billion of looted public money, besides jail terms and other punishments to convicts.
The Chairman also mentioned an agreement with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and some varsities to carry out joint awareness efforts against elimination of corruption.
He said support from all segments of society, particularly educational institutions, was imperative to make it effective at mass scale. The NAB, he added, had initiated the programme to form Character Building Societies (CBS) to eliminate the corruption
at grassroots level, therefore about 12,000 CBS were established
with 150,000 registered members.
He said the NAB’s first Forensic Science Lab (FSL) had started working with facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis.
The awareness and media campaign on “Say No to Corruption”,he said, was very effective and showing positive results.Answering another question, the Chairman said the NAB would
ink agreements with China and Malaysia with regard to curb corruption. The Bureau also planned to hold a first SAARC Conference on anti-corruption in Islamabad.
He said a lot more needed to be done to bring improvement in strategy and make Pakistan a corruption-free country.The NAB Chairman referred to the World Anti-Corruption Day
being observed on December 9. It was the day when the United Nations
member states make resolve to put in place comprehensive measures to eradicate corruption and create awareness to prevent the menace,
he added.