PESHAWAR – The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Department remained on the top with maximum complaints registered against it with the Provincial Ombudsman during the last one year. This was said by Badshah Gul Wazir, provincial Ombudsmen, while addressing a website launching ceremony, here at press club on Thursday. ANP Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Human Rights, Barrister Arshad Abdullah was the chief guest on the ceremony.   

The provincial Ombudsman said that despite the fact that the department was a new idea and less number of people were aware of the Ombudsman office its function and jurisdiction, but even then a significant number of complaints was registered against various government departments. He said a total of 583 complaints were received against different government department under the jurisdiction of the office, in which 462 cases were successfully handled, whereas 72 complaints were remained pending due to its proper investigation process or might be lack of necessary and required documents.

Sharing the annual finding report, he added that the Elementary and Secondary Education department topple with a highest number of 74 complaints during the last one year 2011, adding out of a total 583 complaints, 249 were maintainable with ratio of 46.8 percent, while 283 were not maintainable with a percentage of 53.2. He also informed that 179 complaints had been decided after due process and thorough investigation, whereas more than 70 cases are still under the process and soon be resolved.

He further elaborated that the complaints decided in favour of the complainants were about 85, while more than 49 cases were come against the complainants. Similarly, a total of 49 findings of complaints had been implemented, while around 23 were yet to be implemented due to certain reasons.

“The provincial ombudsman had implemented 100 percent complaints decisions during the year 2011, whereas as many complaints relating to federal subjects were referred to the federal ombudsman office because of its legal jurisdiction. As many as 79 complaints were registered against the federal departments, he maintained.

Likewise, he said that cases against different government departments including provincial Disaster Management with 34, health department with 32, police department with 32, and revenue department with 24, and 53 cases of miscellaneous nature were registered with the ombudsman. He informed that they were going to launch an official website of the provincial ombudsman, developed with the assistance of UNDP, meant to provide easily accessibility to relevant information, regulations, services rules, procedures and complaints filling cases, status of the cases. He also said that the complainants would be updated the complainants about the status of their cases via mobile service.

Earlier, provincial Law Minister Arshad Abdullah formally launched the official website. Addressing on the occasion, he said that the provincial ombudsman has a pivotal role in resolving the problems of masses, and in provision relief and speedy justice to the aggrieved complainants. He added that the provincial ombudsman has the mandate to track down mal-administration and mismanagement in provincial departments in perspective of complaints of the public. The Minister said that the ombudsman office has enough powers, like stay order in case, suo moto power, or even contempt of court if any of the government department failed to implement its decision. He acknowledged that the department is stand at premature stage, and it will take time to strengthen its capacity and turn it fully functional.

Arshad Abdullah maintained that the provincial government has followed the directives of ombudsman, and would take steps to further extend its jurisdiction to Provincial Administrative Tribal Areas (PATA).