Corporate, Political, Government Corruption News in Pakistan

Impeding accountability: NAB faults PPP govt for affecting its actions against corruption  

In its reply to the Supreme Court about its ‘performance’, the anti-graft watchdog said the PPP-led government was responsible for that.

Earlier, it had submitted a list of 150 major scams in addition to 29 more cases to the apex court. Among these were cases pending against incumbent Premier Nawaz Sharif, ex-PMs Yousaf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The court said it was not happy with the painfully slow progress in the investigation of such high-profile cases.

However, NAB chief Qamar Zaman Chaudhry is satisfied with the overall performance of the bureau as far as the recovery of billions of rupees is concerned. The reply stated that during last 15 years (from 1999 to 2014), recoveries of Rs261 billion have been made against expenditures of about Rs10 billion.

Read: Nab powers: SHC dismisses plea challenging accountability law

NAB also submitted a year-wise breakup of all such cases. The current NAB chairman also served as interior secretary during the previous PPP regime. The accountability authority cited at least five instances from the previous PPP regime to prove how the operation against corruption was affected. The reply submitted by NAB did not mention alleged intervention by the Justice Chaudhry-led apex court’s in its affairs.

The reply stated that NAB’s operations were adversely affected in early 2008 when the then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in his inaugural speech in NA declared NAB as ‘functus officio’.  This Latin term means an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because the agency has accomplished the purpose reached an expiry date.

The anti-graft watchdog also stated that during the PPP regime, the head of the NAB’s office remained vacant for different tenures due to which performance was affected. The National Accountability Ordinance 1999 vests all the powers in the office of chairman of the authority.

Since 2010, the office of the chairman remained vacant initially for four months in 2010, seven months in 2011 and about six months in 2013.

“The vacant chairman office meant that regional bureaus were restrained to continue with already authorised cases.  Delegated power was considered annulled under given provisions and interpretation of the law, bringing all NAB operations to a halt during the said periods,” the reply mentioned.

Besides, the economic situation of the country also forced the (PPP-led) government to reduce the budgetary provisions of NAB in 2008-09, affecting the NAB operations and efficiency. NAB already working lower than sanctioned strength suffered a further blow when a number of officers contracts expired due to funds constraints in previous years.

Read: NAB sets up internal accountability mechanism, SC told

The retrenchment and resource constrain forced NAB to operate with just 26 percent of sanctioned strength during 2010-2011.

Between 2008 and 2012, on a number of occasions, serious question were raised about the future of NAB, casting doubts on its efficiency and resulting in the slow disposal of cases. A huge backlog was thus created.

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has faulted the previous government led by the Pakistan Peoples Party for delaying investigations into 150 major scams. In its reply to the Supreme Court about its ‘performance’, the anti-graft watchdog said the PPP-led government was responsible for that. Earlier, it had submitted a list of 150 major scams in addition to 29 more cases to the apex court. Among these were cases pending against incumbent Premier Nawaz Sharif, ex-PMs Yousaf Raza Gilani, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. The court said it was not happy with the painfully slow progress in the investigation of such high-profile cases. However, NAB chief Qamar Zaman Chaudhry is satisfied with the overall performance of the bureau as far as the recovery of billions of rupees is concerned. The reply stated that during last 15 years (from 1999 to 2014), recoveries of Rs261 billion have been made against expenditures of about Rs10 billion. Read: Nab powers: SHC dismisses plea challenging accountability law NAB also submitted a year-wise breakup of all such cases. The current NAB chairman also served as interior secretary during the previous PPP regime. The accountability authority cited at least five instances from the previous PPP regime to prove how the operation against corruption was affected. The reply submitted by NAB did not mention alleged intervention by the Justice Chaudhry-led apex court’s in its affairs. The reply stated that NAB’s operations were adversely affected in early 2008 when the then prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in his inaugural speech in NA declared NAB as ‘functus officio’. This Latin term means an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because the agency has accomplished the purpose reached an expiry date. The anti-graft watchdog also stated that during the PPP regime, the head of the NAB’s office remained vacant for different tenures due to which performance was affected. The National Accountability Ordinance 1999 vests all the powers in the office of chairman of the authority. Since 2010, the office of the chairman remained vacant initially for four months in 2010, seven months in 2011 and about six months in 2013. “The vacant chairman office meant that regional bureaus were restrained to continue with already authorised cases. Delegated power was considered annulled under given provisions and interpretation of the law, bringing all NAB operations to a halt during the said periods,” the reply mentioned. Besides, the economic situation of the country also forced the (PPP-led) government to reduce the budgetary provisions of NAB in 2008-09, affecting the NAB operations and efficiency. NAB already working lower than sanctioned strength suffered a further blow when a number of officers contracts expired due to funds constraints in previous years. Read: NAB sets up internal accountability mechanism, SC told The retrenchment and resource constrain forced NAB to operate with just 26 percent of sanctioned strength during 2010-2011. Between 2008 and 2012, on a number of occasions, serious question were raised about the future of NAB, casting doubts on its efficiency and resulting in the slow disposal of cases. A huge backlog was thus created - See more at: http://www.transparency.org.pk/news_detail.php?nid=14287#.VcpadbV97Qc
 

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