PR No.69 Salman Faruqui Speaks At International Ombudsman Conference At Tokyo Islamabad: March 8, 2016

President, Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) and Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan in his address at the opening session of a three day International Ombudsman conference at Tokyo said that Transparency and pensiveness had a Central Place in Public administration, especially, in a democratic dispensation. In his address at the international forum, he said that in the present era, any government which lacks transparency and responsiveness can hardly escape the watchful eye of the media and that of the greater than ever vigilant civil society organizations consequently. “These have to be the cardinal features of the operations of an Ombudsman institution”, Faruqui maintained.

The Federal Ombudsman, while addressing the conference said that in Pakistan the Right to Information Act empowers the citizens to seek full disclosure adding “There are very few exemptions largely for reasons of national security. Federal ombudsman is the appellate and final authority under this law”.

He apprised the audience that the orders and decisions of the ombudsman in Pakistan were fully implemented by all Agencies across the board M. Salman Faruqi stressed upon the transparency of not only public administration but also the insituation of Ombudsman to be transparent and said that the law governing the establishment of the Office of the Federal Ombudsman, as well as its investigation and Disposal of Complaints Regulations provide for an elaborate and effective mechanism to ensure transparency.

He informed the conference that under the law, every complaint must be decided within 45 days. Quoting survey held under the auspices of the World Bank, Salman Faruqui Stated that the Bank took sample of 3,000 complaints country wide which were decided with 60 days or less and more than 90% of complaints countrywide which were decided within 60 days or less and more than 90% of complainants rated their experience as good or very good talking about the enhancement of Responsiveness in Public administration the Federal Ombudsman stated that the institution took several steps in the regard which included Establishment of fully functional regional officers of Federal Ombudsman Secretariat in Pakistan’s major cities to quickly mediate with the locally based government Agencies.

About the appointment of commissioners, he said “Governance Commissioners dealing with Passport, National Identity Cards, Visa, immigration, overseas employment and airlines etc. to provide instant relief to the complaints. He said that National and Provincial Commissioners for Children had also been appointed for ameliorating the plight of children which was highly appreciated by the United Nations and other agencies. Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan discussed in detail about the other major achievements which included, and in depth study of administration of prisons in Pakistan for introducing reforms study aimed at proposing good administration standards for police stations and appointment of focal persons in all Pakistan Missions abroad to redress complaints of the overseas Pakistani.

Ms. Sanae Takaichi, Minister for International Affairs and Communication Japan gave a welcome address. The other prominent speakers at the conference included: Adv. John walters. Namibia Ombudsman & President International Ombudsman Institute(IOI), Dr. Gunther Krauter Member of Austrian Ombudsman Board & Secretary General IOI, Mr. Kam Shing So. Deputy Ombudsman Hong Kong and Mr. Yutaka Arai Ombudsman of Japan. Director General Administrative Evaluation Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.