Punjab ombudsman orders to resolve expats’ grievances

LAHORE    –   Punjab Ombudsman Major (retd) Azam Suleman has directed that the complaints of the expatriate Pakistanis about provincial government departments should be resolved on a priority basis.

Presiding over a meeting of advisers and consultants of 14 districts at his office on Friday, he said that ombudsman’s office received over 17,624 complaints this year regarding problems being faced by people in provincial departments.

The advisers and consultants working in regional offices should proactively work to play their role in the solution of public issues in their districts, he added.

The ombudsman Punjab noted with satisfaction that a working group had been constituted to formulate policies for the government to end online harassment. He directed that the people should also be sensitized about presence of a free institutional mechanism for protecting public rights at the grassroots. The toll-free helpline 1050 was another facility to note and record public complaints round-the-clock, he remarked. The construction of regional office buildings in five districts had been completed and this will further strengthen the institutional presence of this office in the province, he added.

The performance of advisers and consultants regarding the resolution of public complaints was reviewed during the meeting and they were instructed to dispose of complaints within a fixed time frame. They were also asked to submit the monthly reports of their office by the 5th of every month to the head office for review of their performance.

FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN VOWS TO ADDRESS PUBLIC GRIEVANCES ON PRIORITY BASIS

Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi has vowed to resolve public disputes/cases of the lower strata, who cannot afford moving courts and hiring services of lawyers, through informal dispute resolution system and by carrying out inspections on priority basis.

Chairing a progress review meeting of investigating officers(IOs) at the regional office here the other day, he asked the IOs to visit far-flung areas to address grievances of lower strata of society in the shortest possible time. He said that the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat had earned public appreciation for its role and the services rendered since its inception. He said that inspection visits should be sporadic and should not be allowed to be construed as raids by the agencies. The objective of the visits should be to identify the problems, encountered by the public, the difficulties faced by the agencies in dealing with those problems and to suggest remedial measures, he added. He directed all the IOs to get written statements from the representatives of the agencies, who make verbal commitment during proceedings to provide relief to the complainants. He advised the officers to serve the public by redressing their grievances. All the IOs from regional offices – Lahore, Multan, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Sargodha – attended the meeting.

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