ISLAMABAD: Officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) believe that by introducing the concept of ‘combined investigation team’ (CIT), the bureau has closed the door on any sort of pressure, including the political ones, on investigators dealing with cases of white collar crimes.
According to a NAB spokesperson, officials at the bureau’s annual inspection meeting held at its headquarters here on Thursday expressed satisfaction over the introduction of the CIT concept and hoped that it would improve performance and image of the premier anti-corruption body. Talking to Dawn, the spokesperson said a single officer investigating a case could be influenced, but it would be difficult to pressurise a CIT comprising officials from different departments of NAB.
Stressing effectiveness of the CIT, he said that after completing investigation into a case it would submit its report to the NAB board for a final decision. The concept of CIT has recently been introduced by NAB Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry to avoid any error and possibility of pressure on investigators.
The meeting decided that educational credentials of 574 officials of the bureau would be verified.
Spokesperson says a single officer could be influenced, but it would be difficult to pressurise a team of officials from different departments
It was observed at the meeting that some 30 officers of the bureau had not used their computers for the past one week and it was decided that action would be taken against them. According to a press release, an inspection of the divisions of NAB headquarters was conducted by the Chairman’s Inspection and Monitoring Team (CI&MT).
A senior member of the CI&MT told the meeting that on the directives of the chairman, annual inspection of all regional offices of the bureau was conducted in January and February. The team highlighted strengths and weaknesses of the regional offices on the basis of Partly Quantified Grading System (PQGS).
He gave a presentation on the annual inspection of all divisions of NAB headquarters. Under the PQGS, the performance of all regional bureaus was evaluated on the basis of uniform criteria, he said, adding that 80 per cent marks were given for ‘outstanding/excellent’ performance, 60 to 79pc for ‘very good’, 50 to 57pc for ‘good’ and 40pc for ‘below average’.
He said a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) had been approved to rationalise the workload. Timelines have been prescribed for efficient, effective and expeditious disposal of cases within 10 months — from complaint verification-to-inquiry-to-investigation to submission of reference in an accountability court.
The meeting was apprised that in order to ensure uniformity and standardisation, SOPs in vogue have been revised after a gap of 10 years to make these responsive to the needs of changed economic, social and technological realities.
The meeting was informed that the operational arms of NAB were its regional bureaus, which were involved in field operations i.e. conduct of complaint verification, inquiries, investigations, prosecutions of cases at trial and appellate stages. The NAB chairman said the bureau was committed to eradicating corruption and had adopted a ‘zero tolerance policy’ towards corruption.