ISLAMABAD, August 06, 2017: Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB said that NAB is Pakistanís apex anti-corruption organization which was assigned the responsibility of elimination of corruption and corrupt practices and recover looted money from corrupts. NAB operates under National Accountability Ordinance-(NAO) and has recovered more than Rs. 287 billion which all were deposited in the national exchequer. He said that the Present management of NAB after assuming the responsibility had taken various measures to revamp NAB and had chalked out an effective and comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for eradication of corruption and corrupt practices from Pakistan. NABís National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for eradication of corruption has acknowledged by national and international organizations like Transparency International, PILDAT and World Economic Forum which is pride for Pakistan due to NAB efforts.
He said that the year 2014 was the year of rejuvenation of NAB in order to inquire/investigate corruption cases on merit without any fear and favor. He said that NAB is complaint driven organization and NAB operations start functioning on receipt of a written complaint about an alleged act of corruption & corrupt practices as defined under section 9. The process initiated with verification of the contents of the complaint received and the applicability of the provisions of law. This process is called Complaint Verification (CV) wherein the complainant is called for confirming the status and evidence available with him. Once it is determined that the alleged offence falls under NAO and available material justifies for further process, the same is processed for subsequent action.
In the second step, inquiry under section 18 of the NAO is authorized to confirm the committal of offence and collection of evidence to identify the alleged person(s) involved. The record / evidence collection process is supplemented with recording of statements of witnesses and accused persons. This whole process is completed after due deliberations at each level by giving consideration to the role of Combined Investigation Teams (CITs) and in the Regional Executive Board Meetings (RBMs).
He said that NAB has devised to rationalize the workload and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases putting a maximum limit of 10 months- from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation and finally to a reference in the Accountability Court. In order to ensure uniformity and standardization, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for investigation officers (IOs) in vogue were reviewed and revised after a gap of 10 years in order to benefit from the experience and collective wisdom of senior supervisory officers, a system of CIT comprising of Director, Additional Director, Investigation Officer and a Senior Legal Counsel has been put in place. This will not only lend quality to the work but also ensure that no single individual can influence the proceedings. The implementation of enforcement measures and prosecution matters is being monitored in NAB through daily, weekly and monthly reports and inspections.
He said that once a criminal case is established and the accused is unable to return the ill gotten / pecuniary resources, inquiry is converted into investigation under section 18 (C) to finalize the collection of evidence for filing of reference / Challan in the respective Accountability Court and to prosecute him with the objective of conviction. During the inquiry and investigation, the accused is provided opportunity to confront with the evidence collected. The tougher stage approached when after finalization of investigation the trial proceedings initiated and the accused persons are facing for charges of corruption and corrupt practices framed by the Accountability Court and where possible conviction which may extend to fourteen years Regress Imprisonment (RI) with fine and or confiscation of assets and properties in the name of accused or his family members. This stage has multiple consequences both for the accused and his family. The disgracing life among the fellow members of the society may be one of the consequences beside economic constraints in participation of activities.
He said that operational arms of NAB are its Regional Bureaus which involved in field operations i.e. conduct of CVs, inquiries, investigations, prosecution of cases at trial and appellate stages. The Operations Division and Prosecution Division at NAB Headquarter are providing all supports for smooth conduct of operational activities in accordance with law and the Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs). He said that Operational Methodology is the guiding principles of NABís Anti-Corruption Strategy which provide for effective monitoring and accountability within the organization. The operational decision making is passing through a consultative process, called the Executive Board Meetings (EBMs) participated by the senior officers at NAB Headquarter and DGs of respective Regional Bureaus via video links.
He said that NABís Anti-Corruption Strategy has acknowledged by national and International Organizations which is pride for Pakistan due to NAB Efforts. He said that NAB is committed to come up to expectations of the nation with the realization that eradication of corruption by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy across the board. NABís performance is considered as record achievement with overall convictions of 76%.