Published Date: Dec 5, 2019
Pakistan is an ‘over-legislated’ country and a lot of executive functions have been confounded through secondary legislation in the form of directives, SROs and rules so there is need to concentrate on strict implementation on the existing laws.
This was stated by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Barrister Shahzad Akbar on Wednesday while addressing the 22nd Sustainable Development Conference titled ‘Governance and Accountability of State Institutions and officials in a digitalized World,’ organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
“Every new government goes for introducing new legislations. We go on legislating more, not taking stock of what has already been legislated. A lot of executive functions have been confounded through secondary legislation which is in form of directives, SROs, rules so the legislation cannot take effect and be implemented," he added.
Akbar further said that digitization of all the data, including National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), banking and taxation data, is needed for the process of accountability of wrongdoings.
He further said that for e-governance, the government does not need legislation, but needs execution of those what exist. For execution sometimes directives are enough like the EU directives in the European Union.
The special assistant further said that the governance in present age is not ruling but it is service delivery. “In a democratic government if you are not delivering, you are out as the key is service delivery, he said."
He further said that access to information is more important. One cannot make informed decisions without having the data which is collected through different means and it has become more transparent and easy through the use of technology and that is the part of governance, he added. The fundamental tool in modern democracy is right to information, said Akbar, adding that the government needs to have data for decision making and so do citizens to make it accountable. “With the use of social media we come to know within half an hour about our decision hence governance has been improved," he added.
He further said that digitization of the system and access to information are far more fundamentals. There is right to information of citizens and there is right to access to information for investigators as well, “because within the government departments, there are different power tussles going on, for example if a financial investigator needs to access any financial data, there are laws in place which stops him from getting that," he added.
Project Manager, Punjab SDGs Support Unit, UNDP Lahore, Shahid Farooq urged the government to train the civil servants on the digital tools and technologies and stressed the need for revising national e-governance and information communication technologies (ICT) policies in order to make them realistic. He said that ICT is a catalyst which can help accelerate good governance and ensure accountability.
Speaking at a panel discussion on Governing Water Resources of Pakistan, Mehr Ali Shah said that there is no regulatory mechanism and dwindling allocation of funds is also making water scarcity in Pakistan. Unified water services should be provided in order to enforce laws and policies, he suggested.
Former secretary for water and power Ashfaq Mahmood said, “Our system is slow in responding to the challenges." To strengthen the policies, effective accountability system should be delivered. He stressed the need for partnership with media in order to educate public about the importance of water.
Speaking at a concurrent session on Cyber Security and Cyber Crime in a Digital Society, CEO of Delta Tech Nahil Mehmood said that Pakistan is significantly behind ensuring a robust cyber security posture of its public and private organizations, which poses a significant risk to the critical infrastructure and national security. To cope with the problem, he proposed a four-layer model covering security hardening, vulnerability management, security engineering and security governance.
Chief of Cyber Security, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Cyber Emergency Response Center, Dr Rafi-us-Shan said that over the last two decades the amount of internet use has increased substantially where huge amounts of information are increasingly changing hands. He recommended a comprehensive cyber security framework driven by data protection authority.
Rafay Baloch, Advisor on Cyber Security, Pakistan Telecom Authority, said that in global security index 2018, Pakistan ranked 94th in terms of cyber security. He emphasized the need for legislation to defend national economic assets, effective steps to deter wide spectrum of cyber threats, and train cyber security professionals.
Xiaofei Wang, GEIDCO China, said the demand for the primary energy will exceed in 2020, and stressed the need for saving energy to avoid peak load.
PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab said the government is encouraging banks for green investment. She said the government is working on mobilizing private sector resources for infrastructure development.