Published Date: Jul 25, 2017
Lack of will a hurdle in corruption-free governance: Asad Umar
People at the helm are the real obstacle to accountability, transparency and corruption-free governance in the country, said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Member National Assembly here on Monday.
Speaking at a seminar titled ‘Accountability and Transparency: Embodied Access to Information Model’, Umar said that the Supreme Court-formed Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report showed the institutional capacity to curb corruption, but the people at the top did not want state institutions to function properly.
The event was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), an Islamabad-based think tank that focuses on policy dialogue around governance, political economy and sustainable development.
Highlighting the importance of corruption-free governance, and the available mechanisms to ensure it, Umar said that accountability could not be achieved without building transparency within the system. It is for this very reason that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has introduced the Right to Information (RTI) Act, he added.
“Our governments conceal information, or make its access extremely difficult for the common man, only to protect corruption and cover financial scams. I moved a motion calling for an audit of all 342 MNAs but the ruling party did not allow it,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, finance management expert Abdul Jalil said that absence of relevant laws and was a major hurdle in ensuring accountability and transparency. “The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) lack the capacity to investigate financial irregularities,” he said, adding: “Our legal frameworks of audit remain severely deficient.” He added that the FIA was dependent on such inspectors who were unqualified to probe financial irregularities.
Shakeel Ahmad of the SDPI explained various dynamics of the Embodied Access to Information Model (EAIM) and emphasised the need to understand the fundamentals of accountability. He said that access to information was the key to make institutions function in a responsible and accountable manner. “Input from experts and stakeholders would play a pivotal role in creating an effective information model,” he added.Source: http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/25-Jul-17/lack-of-will-a-hurdle-in-corruption-free-governance-asad-umar