MASOOD HASAN Mr. Aminullah Chaudary's proposals in "Spoils in the Punjab" makes for interesting reading. We have been knocking our administrative system since the early 1950's when Zahid Hussain's chapter on Management of our first five year plan was censored by the ruling bureaucrats as it was felt it encroached on their territory However, since then we have been disorganized losing half our country in the process. Our first priority should be to understand why our excellent policy (implemented successfully by S Korea) lose itself in a morass of failures where it matters i.e. at the ground level. A lowly example may help us to partly understand why. A friend wished to obtain a death certificate of his deceased father from the relevant government office. On applying, he provided details of his late father's residence address etc. He was then shunted to another clerk who demanded verification and was "informed" that the said address was not on the books. On being told they had been residents there for decades and had NICs which contains the address. However, the clerk insisted that the residence did not exist. The clerk refused to say so in writing. So who is to say it does exist The level was, therefore, raised when he was given a list of additional requirements, which were also provided. More objections were raised. However, on making an informal payment, all of the objections evaporated and the Death Certificate was delivered to the applicant's residence. The matter is small but it brings out in bold relief the gap that exists between policy and implementation. We are always faced with crises of non-implementation because of lack of up to date SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) which is the software meant to provide all of the detailed work involved at the level where it matters. Acts, Ordinances, Rules, Regulations are always insufficiently elaborated, hence not detailed enough to curb the misuse of unnecessary discretion at the lower levels. This means the seniors are not even aware of what can happen at the ground level where the work should be gotten done. No one can be held guilty of not taking action at the right time because lack of administrative accountability arising out of judicial review with its attendant procedural requirements, which are difficult to put together. And given the final come uppance being judicial review, the concerned officers make sure the rigidity of due process and the Law of Evidence protects them from any sin of omission. This is the "protection" government functionaries know they have and misuse it. The courts of law do finally provide justice or insaaf but certainly not equity or omission. If there are eleven variables there are 3.7 million ways of putting them together. No compendium of written instructions can take care of all of them. Investigations, later can never prove the functionaries wrong, particularly for delays and this is where the rub lies, hence speed money... hence increasing corruption. Unless we introduce what Napoleon borrowed from Islam i.e. the nazar fi'l mazalim courts (complaint courts) which have successfully worked in France & several other countries of Napoleonic disposition in Europe. Anglo-Saxon law is the bane of our administrative inefficiencies and the root cause of encouraging corruption. We need to ensure the legislature, judiciary and executive are kept separate by ensuring there is no review in a judicial court of executive decision. Complaint courts similar to the nazar fi'l mazalim methodology are required. This approach is well developed in Europe (discarded by us) and is consistent with the Islamic approach of old. Article 216 of our provisional constitution of 1972 provided for this, but Article 212 of the current constitution has decimated it. We need to revisit this aspect and correct ourselves.