ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau is Pakistan’s apex anti-corruption organization. It is charged with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement. It operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999. NAB has its headquarter at Islamabad. NAB takes cognizance of all offences falling within the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO). According to sources, Chairman NAB Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has stressed upon the officers of NAB (KPK) to actively pursue important corruption cases adding that beside enforcement, our main focus is on awareness and prevention aspects of NAB strategy to control corruption with help of civil society.
The performance of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) during the last one year from October 2013 to October 2014 was very impressive. NAB has recovered Rs 4 billion during the last one year, this scribe has learnt.
According to the sources, during the last one year from October 2013 to October 2014, NAB under the leadership its dynamic Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry has recovered 3.93 billion rupees, received 19,816 complaints, authorized 767 inquiries, 276 cases were converted into investigations and 152 references were filed in the Accountability Court. The figures of complaints, inquiries and investigations are almost double as compared to the same period of October 2012 to September 2013 with 10,414 complaints, 276 inquiries, 84 investigations and 138 references respectively.
The comparative figures for the latest two years 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 trusted in the NAB. The PILDAT report for the last year also supports the position stated above as 42% people trusted NAB against 30 % for police and 29 % for government officials.
NAB has been rejuvenated in the past year and efforts are going in to make it a more credible and efficient anti-corruption organization. The Enforcement efforts in the shape of complaint verifications (CVs), inquiries and investigations have shown a marked improvement. The concept of Combined Investigation Teams (CITs) comprising of at least two IOs, a legal consultant and a Case Officer (Additional Director) along-with other experts from the relevant required field, has been strengthened. This helps in a team work concept and leaves no room for discretion. The HQs Operations Division analysis monitors the Regional CIT reports before presenting the same to the Executive Board Meeting (EBM).
The Prosecution Division has been allocated additional manpower in the shape of hiring competent law officers, based on market salaries and a fair and transparent hiring process. The conviction rate target has been increased from 65% to 75%. Regional DGs and Deputy Prosecutor Generals Accountability (DPGAs) have been given clear directions in the matter.
The methodology, approved in the 19th DGs conference, is based upon the principles of Prevention, Enforcement and Prosecution (PEP). The Awareness and Prevention (A&P) Division of NAB has been strengthened to deal with the menace of corruption in a holistic manner. A&P Division has been beefed up at the Headquarters and Regional levels. Over 4000 Character Building Societies (CBSs) have been established in the country in universities, colleges and schools during the last one year to create awareness against corruption. Youths are considered a vanguard in this fight.
To improve institutional working in the NAB and to employ uniform working practices throughout the Regions, Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) have been prepared after a comprehensive consultative process. Chairman NAB had directed to prepare these SoPs in order to fill in knowledge gaps, bring uniformity and standardization in NABs work across the country and to improve self discipline and better planning and management.
The incumbent NAB leadership has resolved to do across the board accountability in an objective and impartial manner. Inquiries and investigations have been initiated against all those against whom credible and corroborative evidence is available without any political or personal malice. A number of high profile cases involving personalities, the political, bureaucratic and business fields have been instituted in the Courts. Appeals haven been filed in cases where NAB prosecution opined to pursue these at higher forums without any distinction of rank and status.
The NAB is committed to carry out its cause and mandate of rooting out corruption and corrupt practices from the country without any influence, stress or pressure.