NAB introduces First Phase of internal reforms

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has decided that its main focus will be on mega corruption and money laundering cases in the future.

The NAB has introduced what it called revolutionary reforms as malafide or frivolous complaints will now be considered as cognizable offence and liable to legal action against such applicants in the Courts of Law, a press statement issued here said.

The initiative is aimed at greater efficiency and transparency in the NAB operations and to dispel its public perception.

Under the new guidelines, parameters have been defined for submission of complaints, providing complete personal details of applicant with affidavit, in which admitting that the information provided in the complaint is correct and without any malafide intentions. Further, the applicant will be liable to legal action under the law, if allegations are not proved.

Considering damage of the self-respect and self-esteem of persons against the moral code of ethics, the persons complained against, shall be addressed as “Defendants” in the new guidelines. The new guidelines have been framed to ensure human rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan. Further, identity of the defendant will be kept confidential until guilt is proven.

Similarly, the priority of complainants has also been outlined in the new guidelines. Incomplete and anonymous complaints will be discarded at the initial level. The new guidelines will be available on NAB website and disseminated through SMS and other modes of communications, for general public awareness and guidance.

Besides, dedicated Complaint Cells (CC) have also been established at NAB (HQ) and Regional Bureaus under the direct supervision of Chairman NAB and Deputy Chairman NAB to initiate investigation into complaints at initial stage.

Initially, the process of complaint verification will be ensured completed within a prescribed period of 7 to 15 days. The defendant will not be called during this period. The specific guidelines have been issued for processing the complaints against elected representatives, bureaucracy and businessmen.

Identity of defendants/Government officials, etc will be kept strictly confidential during complaint verification process. It is mentioned that complaints against officials up to BPS-19 shall be authorized by Regional DGs, whereas approval of process on complaints against BS-20 and above officers will be authorized by Chairman NAB.

The Government officials will not be called in person in NAB premises during verification and inquiry stage. Accountability facilitation cells are being established in respective civil secretariats for verification of requisite information of government officials considering their self-respect and dignity.

Likewise, separate business facilitation cells comprising representation of respective Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Realtors and Business Associations are being established for processing complaints against businessmen keeping dignified code of probe.

A feedback mechanism of the visitors shall be adopted by all regional bureaus, whereas a proforma both in English and Urdu will be issued to all visitors for providing their feedback in writing regarding duration he was burdened to wait.

His feedback will be given due importance and will be presented to the chain of command. Measures have been described in the new guidelines regarding pending complaints, whereas complaints which don t meet the criteria, shall be disposed-off by respective Regional Bureaus after taking appropriate measures.

No NAB officer has been allowed to contact the defendants during the initial complaint verification process. If a complaint is received against a woman, she will be called for investigation along with her blood relative and in case of relative is not available, a female officer of NAB will conduct the inquiry.

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