ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi chairs a presentation on the Auditor General of Pakistan’s office at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Thursday.—PPI
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi chairs a presentation on the Auditor General of Pakistan’s office at Aiwan-i-Sadr on Thursday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Effective action on complaints and timelines for new initiatives were needed to ensure transparency in the country, President Dr Arif Alvi said on Thursday.

“Transparency and account­ability are among the top priorities of the government to ensure good governance,” Dr Alvi observed during a ceremony at the Presi­dency for a presentation on the Auditor General’s report.

The ceremony coincided with the release by Trans­parency International (TI) of its annual report indicating that corruption had gone up in Pakistan. Auditor General Javaid Jehangir attended the ceremony.

The president said modern technology and techniques must be incorporated into auditing and accounting processes to ensure transparency and improve efficiency.

“The menace of corruption can be eliminated if effective action is taken on complaints and to rectify irregularities pointed out in the audit reports,” the president said.

He expressed the hope that international best practices would be adopted to ensure judicious utilisation of public money and to curb irregularities. “In order to ensure the timely completion of new projects, timelines must be decided and rigorously implemented,” he added.

The president also stressed the need for utilising the potential of the nation’s human resource through regular training.

Auditor General Javaid Jehangir apprised the president of the measures initiated by his organisation to improve its performance and to ensure merit, transparency and accountability.

NAB chairman

National Accountability Bureau Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal said NAB was determined to root out corruption. “We, at NAB, take the fight against corruption as a national duty,” he said in his address at a ceremony at NAB headquarters.

“NAB was established to eradicate corruption in a holistic and integrated manner. It is striving to accomplish its mission to rid the nation of corruption,” he said.

The bureau’s operational methodology has set three stages for processing of cases — complaint verification, inquiry and investigation.

“NAB’s officers need to adopt the motto — a corruption-free Pakistan,” he added.

Javed Iqbal said the hard work being put in by NAB officers was being appreciated by national and international organisations. “NAB officers should redouble their efforts to nab corrupt elements and recover from them looted money of innocent Pakistanis.”

He said the anti-graft watch­dog had recovered Rs153 billion last year, with a conviction rate of 70 per cent.

He said that since its inception, NAB had adopted an enforcement-based approa­ch in its fight against graft. “A special focus is now being given to awareness and prevention activities, besides enforcement to raise awareness about the effects of corruption, which is the mother of all evils,” he added.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020