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Rasheed Khalid

The News

Published Date: Aug 20, 2011


Social accountability based upon ethics cannot work in countries like Pakistan where corruption itself has become a system and norm, said Daniyal Aziz, Advisor Governance Institutes Network International, here at a seminar on Implementing Citizen Report Card (CRC) in slums.

The event was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Thursday. Imtiaz Gul, Chairperson, Centre for Research and Security Studies, was in the chair.

Aziz said that social dimension of self-check can only be functional for public office-bearers in countries where there is a system in place and ethical following is strong. He called for radical reforms in civil services emphasising a structured system of accountability coupled with negotiated incentives to executives to overcome the systematic infliction of corruption.

He said that basic reason for corruption is insufficient incentives and reward besides lack of appropriate mechanism for checks and balances. He said that until and unless hierarchal incentives against the 1972 Pay and Pension Commission are reviewed and proper accountability

mechanisms are emplaced, there are very few chances of improvement in the ongoing situation of increasing unchecked culture of corruption. He said that we have added new layers of accountability systems one after another every initiative resulting into institutional dichotomies, inefficiencies and setting the stage for further corruption.

He termed the Local Government System 2001 as one of the best systems to monitor public office-bearers and identified finance, revenue, administration, judiciary and police as most critical for reforms and effectively manage the affairs of public.

Gulbaz Ali Khan, Senior Research Associate at SDPI, giving a presentation CRCs surveys said that it is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, in which ordinary citizens and civil

society organisations become part of monitoring of accountability process directly or indirectly. He said the CRC turns out to be a mirror for the government that aggregates user perceptions on performance of public services.

He said that CRCs provide conclusion on citizen satisfaction with quality of each service, comparison of service providers on reliability, user satisfaction, responsiveness and quality of problem solving by agencies

and estimate of hidden costs incurred by citizens. He stressed that by systematically gathering and disseminating public feedback, CRCs serve as a surrogate for competition for state-owned monopolies that lack the incentives to be as responsive as private enterprises to their client s needs.