What is the role of a Wafaqi Mohtasib?
A Wafaqi Mohtasib is the Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, who is responsible for addressing and resolving the complaints made by general public against the Federal Government Agencies, promoting good governance in the long term. Their head office exists in Islamabad while there are Regional Offices present in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Sukkur, Quetta, Hyderabad, D.I Khan, Faisalabad, Multan and Peshawar.
Introduction of Mobile Application
Addressing a Press conference at the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, Regional office, Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shehbaz lauded the role of the institution in providing relief to the people of Pakistan. The Federal Ombudsman claimed that the institution received over 70,000 complaints from all over the country last year and around 99% of those were resolved. He also added that his office was considered as a poor man’s court, which would provide justice without any costs involved and minimum hassle.
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The federal Ombudsman also announced that the institution would launch a mobile application in March 2019, to make it easier for the people to register their complaints and review the status of their complaints. This would make the whole process and mechanism of dispensing justice much smoother and faster.
Integrated Complaints Resolution System.
Earlier, the Wafaqi Mohtasib had introduced an Integrated Complaints Resolution System to make it easier for state institutions to redress complaints. Several institutions including the post office department, Islamabad Police, Ministry of Housing, FIA, Ministry of Federal Education, WAPDA, Sui Sothern Gas Pipelines and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines. The representatives nominated by these institutions were also provided with training sessions to improve the complaint handling process.
Regarding how this department can assist the public with their complaints, the Federal Ombudsman said, “We have also established special cells in all ministries and government departments with focal persons, We will also hold quarterly seminars around the country for awareness among general public to approach the Wafaqi Mohtasib for resolution of their grievances”. He further added, “We also ordered to disburse the pension of the gazetted officers through their bank accounts from all scheduled banks and this facility would be extended to the non-gazetted officers’ this year.”
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The Federal Ombudsman also made it clear that every finding was decided within a period of 60 days and a review petition within 45 days.
A helpline (1055) already exists and the public and seek any sort of information in regard to the office between 9am to 10pm.