KPK Updates : The accountability system in the province.
“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”
– Steve Maraboli.
In Pakistan the right things-to-do are countless while those who intend to do the right things are pulled back vigorously. When PTI Chief Imran Khan was campaigning for GE 2013, in almost, all the political gatherings he claimed for equal accountability for everyone, Rich or poor. He was made fun of, ridiculed by those who were actually afraid of him.
They knew if he came to power, his “Across the board Accountability” will not remain a political slogan but will become a functional method to run the state.
When PTI came into power in KPK, it tired, and is still doing so many “right things”. And making a smooth accountability system is actually one of those steps by PTI that may not seem beneficialtoday but coming generations will reap the fruit of this tree.
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has become the first provincial government in the country to introduce ‘Internal Audit’ as a major step towards improving transparency and accountability in the Govt machinery.
Another nightmare for Pakistan’s political elite is an official accountability set up. In KP, Ehtesab Commission has been established through an Act of KP Provincial Assembly, 2014 as an independent and autonomous body for the purpose to combat corruption and to restore public trust in the Govt.
This institution is also responsible to ensure to retrieval of already embezzled resources.The area of jurisdiction of the Commission includes organizations, public service officials, politicians and the citizens involved in malpractices which result loss to the Govt. exchequer.
Introduced on the basis of western modern democracy, KPK Right to Information Act is a revolutionary step towards accountability and transparency for creating economic dividends for citizens.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government introduced KP Right to Information Act 2013. Under this Act every citizen have the right to access any information or record held by a public body free of cost that must be reciprocated within ten working days of the receipt of request.
According to the recent states, 61% of the total requests in public departments have been resolved and 38% have been converted to complaints. Also, 82% of complaints in RTI Commission have been resolved and 18% are under the process.
Another innovative step by KP Government is the use of technology for approaching the public for their feedback about the public servants. It has launched the Citizens’ Facebook in all districts to get feedback of Citizens.
It connects citizens to public departments for resolution of complaints and has helped the KP administration settle thousands of disputes through the KP Citizen’s Portal.
Of the 33,300 citizens that registered with the portal by November 22, 2016, through downloading its smart app, 18,000 reached out to public departments by lodging complaints. The authorities were able to resolve 14,700, or 81 per cent, of complaints.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly unanimously passed bill on Conflict of Interest 2016 which advocates that any member of the provincial assembly will not use office for personal use or for their family members.
Under this law if a public office holder violates any of the provision of the law, they will be declared publicly to have committed conflict of interest and that declaration shall be used for initiation of disciplinary or 4 penal action or both against the public office holder. It also has a provision of monetary penalty.
Transparency of information is vital to the functioning of democracy and also to improve governance, reduce corruption and to hold government more accountable to its citizens
Initiatives taken by PTI led KP Govt has had great impacts on the well-being of people in KP so far. It may be invisible to the critics of Imran Khan and PTI but the fact of the matter is that KP Govt has started that process of accountability and good governance that we Pakistanis have been dreaming of.
Yes, it may be slow or sometime halted but it won’t stop.
Let’s hope that this omen spread throughout the country. We Pakistanis also deserve to know our rights.