NAB recovers Rs 3.125 bln in corruption cases

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Enforcement wing has recovered an amount of Rs 3.125 billion through Voluntary Return (VR) and Plea Bargain (PB) out of total agreed amount Rs 3.149 billion from accused involved in different corruption cases.

The NAB also recommended placement of 157 accused on the Exit Control List (ECL) through the Ministry of Interior during the last year. The Prosecution efforts resulted in 65 per cent convictions in Courts, said report issued by the Bureau.

During the year 2013, NAB received 18607 complaints. With addition of backlog of 1464, the number rose to a total of 20071 complaints.

Out of these, 18,892 complaints were processed (converted into complaints verifications, inquiries, linked with cases, referred to other departments etc.) and 1179 complaints remained pending as on December 31, 2013, the report said.

A total of 284 fresh inquiries were authorized during the year 2013 thus including the backlog of 589 inquiries the total rose to 873, it added. A total of 243 inquiries were finalized, whereas 630 inquiries remained under process.

463 individuals entered into VR and PB during the year 2013 and out of agreed amount of Rs 3149.985 million, Rs 3125.088 million (99.2%) have been recovered.

Awareness and Prevention Division of the Bureau processed 363 projects including procurements amounting to Rs. 220 Billion approximately; 18 Committees were established in all major areas of governance to improve performance.

Despite upheavals during the year, NAB was able to perform satisfactorily under the Prevention Regime in the period from January to December 2013.

NAB is working with bureaucracy for its restructuring and for renewal of rule violations to prevent corruption in planned procurements projects.

Work on improvement of Legislative and Regulatory structures of the State is under review to remove discretions and service anomalies, the annual report says.

NAB also established 14000 Character Building Societies (CBS) across the country in different Universities, Colleges and Schools. It is worth mentioning that substantial progress has been achieved in the efforts for eradication of corruption as Pakistan’s CPI index has improved during year 2013.

The current Chairman NAB, Qamar Zaman Chaudry, took charge of his office in October, 2013.  In his maiden address to the senior officers, he assured them that
he would lead by example and that he expects all officers to keep pace with him in the ongoing war against corruption.

The Chairman reiterated his resolve to continue efforts to make NAB a premier anti-corruption watchdog of the country.

He added that emphasis on Prevention and Awareness will be the policy to be pursued while Enforcement will also be followed up vigorously.

The annual report further said that during last year NAB inducted 280 investigators through a merit-based and transparent recruitment process. They underwent seven months rigorous training conducted by local as well as foreign faculty.

This training was arranged at COMSATS university campus Islamabad where state of the art facilities were made available and renowned professionals were invited to deliver interactive lectures on specialized subjects. NAB has appreciated the Federal and Provincial governments for their cooperation and support in enabling it to perform its assigned functions.

The report quoting Chairman NAB, Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said that he was conscious of the monumental task that has been assigned to NAB and wish all concerned to understand its contours and implications as well.

“It is impossible for me or for the institution that I head, to succeed on its own,” Qamar Zaman Chaudhry said.

In this respect, NAB would need the active help and support of all the people of this country and all its institutions, he added  “Needless to say our efforts are tied by an umbilical cord to the judiciary. It is also important to acknowledge that our success or failure is also tied to the Media”, he added

The Chairman said that in the year 2013 after successful completion of training, 268 officers have joined the field operations.  This will enhance NAB’s capacity and help bring down pendency.

The bar for the year 2014 has been raised further.
He added that “I have every expectation of being able to reach this bar before the current year ends. NAB is grateful to the government, judiciary and the media for their support, guidance and criticism of our work which will help make it a better Organization”.

International Anti-Corruption measures have been sub-divided under the headings of Enforcement, Prevention, and Education. More sensibly, Pakistan uses the title Awareness instead of Education. While Education is a uni-dimensional motion,

The annual Report further adds that Awareness is, at the very least, a two dimensional flow. In the past, NAB’s main emphasis was on Enforcement. “Out of empirical evidence it has came to light that Enforcement alone cannot succeed and it has to move hand in glove with Prevention and Awareness.

“I intend to pursue the above, internationally accepted model” the chairman asserts.
The annual report said, NAB’s goal for 2014 is to increase its role in contextualizing and setting the anti-corruption strategic agenda on behalf of the Government and the Political leadership of the country.

Together with the civil society through character building societies, seminars, workshops etc, NAB will work to secure the implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy, proposals and to promote model frameworks to combat corruption.

The annual report of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the year 2013 has been presented to the President of Pakistan as required under section 33D of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999.