LAHORE: Recognizing importance and utility of the Ombudsman office, people lodged 25,523 complaints during 2015 and in total 30,576 were disposed of which also include backlog. This year 3208 cases are pending, as per the Ombudsman report for 2015.

More than 12,793 media reports were processed and communicated to the relevant agencies and departments for appropriate action, the official report for the year 2015 records. While during 2014 citizens lodged 21,899 complaints and Ombudsman took notice of as many as 11,505 news items and media reports appeared in national and regional newspapers and telecast at news channels.

A large number of complaints pertaining to police, education, revenue, and local government and health departments were received at the Ombudsman office. Police department remained as usual on the top with 5,132 complaints followed by education department with 3,374 complaints. Many complaints against irrigation dept, DCOs, AG Office and others were also registered in the office.

The report prepared by Ombudsman Javed Mehmood further tells about the district wise analysis. Lahore remained on the top with 3,226 complaints while in Faisalabad the office received 1,685, in Jhang 1,335, Rawalpindi 1,058, Sargodha 1,042 and Kasur 1,035.

It is pertinent to mention that this year the office didn’t entertain the complaints on service matters in view of the Governor’s decision.

The report also highlights certain facts about the behaviour of some departments and agencies who failed to mend their ways after repetitive efforts of the government and the office. Even after written requests to the Secretaries to education, health, local government and senior member board of revenue (SMBR) for up-gradation of their system of redressal, the agencies didn’t respond.

The Services and General Administration department (S&GAD) though cooperated in the past but now it appears to be floundering for reasons best know to it, it adds.

The report also mentions that the district advisors visited the DHQs, THQs and BHUs in the province and a number of health facilities under question were identified.

Miserable conditions of the women prisoners and administrative standard in police stations have also been prepared for submission to the Law and Justice Department of Pakistan in compliance with the direction of the apex court.

Moreover, Urdu translation of Ombudsman Act 1997 is also included in the report in light of the historic judgment of the Supreme Court.

The report also reflects the non-maintainable complaints that didn’t fall in the jurisdiction of the office which included 1,849 on service matters, 990 concerning federal agencies, 789 on private matters and many more on banking matters, sub-judice, and time barred and other provinces etc.

Talking about maladministration, the report mentions that 47 pc were cases of ignorance and delay, 40pc of favoritism and biased decision by authorities and 13 pc about corrupt practices by officers.

The governor rejected for filed 512 appeals against the ombudsman office while 110 were disposed of and 82 were on implementation of the ombudsman orders.

The report also mentions implementation status on the Ombudsman's orders. The police department made compliance on 230 complaints against 262 orders, education 212 out of 303, BOR 190 of 230, LG 160 of 205, Health 63 of 91, Irrigation 70 of 97, WASA 42 of 50, LDA 12 of 21 and others 1479 of 1949 orders.

Ombudsman Punjab Office also resolved a number of Pension, Benevolent Fund, GP Fund, Scholarships and Widow’s Grant, and other cases. The advisors taking serious notice of media reports conducted a number of visits to the far flung areas of the province and ordered concerned agencies to provide relief to the residents of those areas. Statistical analysis, volume and causes of complaints against government agencies, performance of Mohtasib Punjab Pension Cell & Provincial Commissioner for Children, minutes of meeting and other Important Findings are also included in Ombudsman Punjab Annual Report 2015.