OVER the years, I have lodged a number of complaints with various ombudsmen and information commissions about my own issues and to protect the rights of others. Unfortunately, I have found these forums lethargic and unprofessional having a casual approach towards their duties and responsibilities.
A number of my applications, complaints and appeals have been pending with them for the last several years awaiting an effective response. The offices of the insurance ombudsman, the banking ombudsman, the Pakistan Information Commission and the Punjab Information Commission are the worst when it comes to the official pace of work. They seem toothless, ineffective and biased.
They are not dispensing justice due to their go-slow approach. They are just facilitators of respondents. The manner in which they process complaints is ultimately protecting the respondents.
I have reached the conclusion that these offices, as they stand today, are nothing but a burden on the national exchequer. They should be trained immediately. There should be standard operating procedures (SOPs) for them in terms of a turnaround time to put matters to close. These ombudsmen and commissions should be held accountable. Their salaries should be governed by target-based and performance-based parameters.
At the moment, I am exhausted and disappointed with these forums at the federal and provincial levels. I am wasting my precious resources like money and time to deal with these public servants who are working without any turnaround time.
The relevant authorities need to wake up and make these entities accountable, people-friendly and fully professional.
Muhammad Waseem Elahi
Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022