PESHAWAR - Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government notified standard operating procedures (SOPs) for holding public-hearing sessions at district level aimed at enhancing people’s confidence in the state machinery, giving them an opportunity to speak out on public issues openly and creating a sense of ownership amongst them.

All provincial secretaries, commissioners and deputy commissioners in the province have been asked to observe the SOPs in letter and spirit in the best public interest.

The officials have been directed to realise the people that the government was providing them the services at their door steps, make the people feel a sense of openness and impartiality. The deputy commissioners along with heads of line departments have been directed to participate in person in the public-hearing sessions (khuli katchehris). In department-specific sessions, the DCs shall make arrangements to enable secretaries of the concerned department to participate through a video link.

All the concerned officers have been asked to focus important issues like shortage/non-availability of medicines in hospitals, staff shortage (doctors/technicians), private hospitals’ fees, non-availability of teachers, books, missing basic facilities, absenteeism, corporal punishment in education sector and non-lodging of FIRs, ill-treatment, misuse of power and violation of privacy by the police.

The DCs have also been asked to hold/convene at least two public-hearing sessions in a month and at least two e-katchehris.

The DCs have been asked to ensure proper recording of all proceedings of the katchehri and assign tasks to the concerned departments/officers with timeline. They have further been directed to submit progress of each katcheri to the concerned commissioner as well as performance management and reforms unit. All the commissioners have been asked to hold regular monthly progress review meetings of the respective districts and submit monthly divisional report to the PMRU.