ISLAMABAD - Corruption is the mother of all evils. Corruption undermines development and rule of law. Corruption not only causes delays in the early completion of development projects but also causes huge losses to the national exchequer. It also increases inflation in the country, decreasing the buying power of common man. Considering these facts, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established in 1999 as Pakistan's apex anti-corruption organization, which is assigned with the responsibility of elimination of corruption through a holistic approach of awareness, prevention and enforcement and to recover the looted money.

NAB operates under the National Accountability Ordinance-1999. NAB has eight regional bureaus and its Headquarter is in Islamabad.

NAB, under the leadership of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB, has chalked out a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for the eradication of corruption and corrupt practices throughout the country.

The bureaus has recovered Rs 266.544 billion since its inception. The numbers of applications received in 2014 were 40077 which is double the number of complaints 19900 received in 2013. The increase in applications submitted to NAB is reflective of people’s confidence in our work. The litmus test of the efficiency and effectiveness of NAB’s efforts lies in the number of cases processed. NAB, on the directions of Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, has been rejuvenated.

In terms of inquiries, NAB completed 585 inquiries during 2014, as compared to 243 during 2013. Similarly as many as 188 investigations were concluded in 2014 as compared to 129 in 2013.

As regards the references filed in the respective accountability courts in 2014, NAB filed 208 references, as compared to 135 during 2013.

It is in this context that PILDAT, in its report, has rated NAB’s performance at 42 percent based on public survey. This compares quite favourably to 29 percent public confidence in police and 26 percent in government officers’ working.

The rate of success of NAB’s prosecution work in all courts is approximately 75 percent. The recent reports of Transparency International also rated Pakistan in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 126 to 117, which is a great achievement for Pakistan due to NAB's efforts.

To create awareness about the ill-effects of corruption among the youth of Pakistan, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Over 10, 000 Character Building Societies (CBSs) have been established by NAB in universities and colleges to create awareness against corruption as youths are considered a vanguard in this fight.

NAB has filed 12 references in the Rs 22 billion Modarba Scam and recovered Rs. 2.50 billion from Modaraba Scam besides properties and vehicles. NAB has so arrested 34 accused persons in this case. NAB has also filed 10 references in Rental Power Project cases in the respective Accountability Courts.

On the directions of the NAB chairman, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has already been devised to rationalise the workload, and timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases, putting a maximum limit of 10 months from the complaint verification 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 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.

NAB has devised a comprehensive Quantified Grading System in NAB in order to review annual performance of NAB’s regional bureaus and further improve the performance of NAB officials. Under this grading system, NAB regional bureau’s performance (Operational Efficiency Index (OEI) are being evaluated at a given criteria. 80 percent will be considered “Outstanding/Excellent”; between 60 percent and 79 percent will be considered as “Very Good”; between 40 percent and 49 percent will be considered as “Good”, while marks less than 40 percent will be considered as “Below Average”.

The annual performance of all NAB’s Regional Bureaus under Quantified Grading System has been evaluated during January and February 2016.

NAB under the leadership of Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, Chairman NAB has established Integrity Management Cell in NAB Headquarters. NAB has also established Internal Accountability Mechanism in order to encourage the culture of adherence to Rules and SOPs and creating deterrence against indulging in violations and to weed out such elements that for reasons of inefficiency, misconduct, malpractice and violation of laid down SOPs/Rules bring a bad name to the organization.

NAB has established its first Forensic Science LAB (FSL) in NAB Rawalpindi/Islamabad Regional Bureau. The Forensic Science LAB has facilities of Digital Forensics, Questioned Documents and Fingerprint Analysis. NAB has decided to give priority to corruption cases i.e.; normal cases from Rs. 100-200 million, Complex Cases from Rs. 500-1000 million and Mega Cases Rs. 1000 million and above for mega cases.

NAB has developed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System catering the needs of all concerned having salient features of maintenance of data at each stage including complaint entry, complaint verification, inquiry, investigation, prosecution stage and record preservation of Regional Board Meetings and Executive Board Meetings including case brief, decisions made and list of participants attended the meeting with time & date and setting up of an effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) System and ability to analyze data in qualitative and quantitative form having warnings and alarms system for violators.

NAB has introduction Human Resource Management Information System (HRMIS) for better career planning and HR Development. About 400 Refresher and capacity building training courses with the help of local and foreign partner’s organizations were conducted.

NAB has proposed Ministry of Law and Justice that Whistle Blowing Protection Act is imperative for the country under the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), legislation on Whistle Blowing is an obligation on Pakistan. The Ministry of Law Division has sent Summary to the prime minister of Pakistan who has very graciously approved Whistle Blower Protection Bill which has been sent to the Cabinet Division for placing before the Federal Cabinet for further necessary action.

On the directions of Chairman NAB, NAB has recruited 104 Investigation Officers through NTS on merit. On the directions of Chairman NAB, the newly recruited 104 Investigation Officers have been trained at Police Training College Sihala on modern lines. NAB has also planned establishment of NAB’s Anti-Corruption Academy at Islamabad for capacity building of NAB officers/Officials on the pattern of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Academy.

The Chairman NAB, Mr. Qamar Zaman Chaudhry is committed to eradicate corruption across the board from the country by adopting Zero Tolerance Policy. It is very encouraging that for the first time Anti-Corruption has been made a part of development agenda in Pakistan in the context of governance. The Planning Commission of Pakistan has included a chapter devoted to issues of corruption in the 11th five year plan and NAB intend to work closely with the Commission to achieve the goals set in the 11th five years plan. NAB believes across the board Accountability on merit. An effective NAB’s Anti-Corruption Strategy during 2015 yielding dividend which will be continued in 2016.