ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Social Pro­tection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar on Saturday convened a meeting of relevant departments to monitor compli­ance with Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy. Chairing the meeting here, Dr Sania said, “The meeting is an excercise done regularly to assess the status of compliance and progress on the Governance and Integrity Policy baseline before final one-year stock take that will be conducted in December, 2020.”

She continued, “Implementa­tion of the Ehsaas Governance Policy and Observatory is under­way since last year. Since the roll out of the governance policy and observatory, the Ehsaas entities have shown improvements in the execution of governance reforms and we are trying to make their systems as robust as possible. Transparency and integrity is at the heart of policy and observa­tory.” In November 2019, Pover­ty Alleviations and Social Safety Division (PASSD) formally began the execution of the Ehsaas Gov­ernance and Integrity Policy and Observatory, following its ap­proval by the cabinet.

The policy is premised to en­sure that organizations involved in delivery of welfare are effec­tive and responsive to the needs of the disadvantaged populations. The Governance Observatory as­sists as an execution and tracking instrument for the Ehsaas Gover­nance and Integrity Policy and it engages all ancillary organisations to adhere to the Ehsaas values and principles in their true essence. To drive forward a transparency and integrity revolution, the policy stipulates a range of measures around how governing board should operate, which policies and legal instruments are critical, and the significance of conflict of inter­est and whistle blowing.

It also outlines the organisa­tional framework to reinforce in­tegrity through risk management and assurance, maintenance of risk registers, appointment of ac­countability officers; error, fraud and corruption frameworks, IT security systems, solidification of financial and fiduciary systems, procurement systems, access to information, electronic filing, development of work plans, and creation of credible data sets. Also, the policy strongly aims to abolish discretionary powers. The policy also specifies that by the end of four years, PASSD will strive to use block chain technol­ogy driven systems to safeguard data transparency and integrity particularly for the registration of assets, verification of identity and the tracking of transactions.

The meeting was attended by the officials of ancillary organ­isations of the Poverty Allevia­tion and Social Safety Division (PASSD) namely BISP, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Trust for Vol­untary Organisations and Higher Education Commission.