Punjab Chief Secretary Akbar Durrani has directed all administrative secretaries to begin accountability within departments and send cases of corrupt officers and officials to the Anti-Corruption Establishment.

Presiding over a meeting of administrative secretaries’ committee at Civil Secretariat on Wednesday, Akbar Durrani said that strong accountability system within departments would help root out corruption. “Targets of progress cannot be achieved without curbing corruption,” he maintained.

He said that effective measures against corruption would not only help in stopping financial irregularities, but also improve the departments’ performance. He said that hard working and honest officials would be encouraged.

The chief secretary also ordered the authorities to take stern action against ‘ghost’ employees, saying that those getting salaries while sitting at homes were a burden to national exchequer. He mentioned that two committees have been set up to prepare recommendations from Punjab province that would be presented to the taskforces formed by the federal government for civil service reforms and austerity measures.

Akbar Durrani said that civil service reforms are aimed at improving public service delivery as provision of education, health, clean drinking water and other basic facilities are the government’s top priority.

He also issued instructions regarding verification of educational certificates of government employees, saying that action be taken against those who managed to get recruited providing fake degrees. The meeting was attended by Additional Chief Secretary Ejaz Ahmad, administrative secretaries of different departments and officers concerned.