Home Latest News Punjab Bureaucracy Under Fire for Ignoring, Delaying Action on Public Complaints

Punjab Bureaucracy Under Fire for Ignoring, Delaying Action on Public Complaints

by Newsweek Pakistan

Courtesy PID

Government issues warning letters to 263 officers, warning them to improve performance or risk official censure

The Prime Minister’s Office has taken to task bureaucrats in Punjab who have been accused of either ignoring public complaints or delaying action on them, with show-cause notices and warning letters issued to derelict officers against complaints registered on the Pakistan Citizen’s Portal.

According to a press release issued on Sunday, the provincial secretaries of the information, agriculture, excise and irrigation departments have been asked to improve their performance. It said that the action was taken after Prime Minister Imran Khan and several federal ministers noted the lack of adequate response during a recent federal cabinet meeting.

Separately, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafiq completed scrutiny of 1,586 officers’ dashboards and submitted a report on the P.M.’s Delivery Unit to the premier. According to the report, 263 officers have been issued warning letters; seven show-cause notices; and 111 directed to submit explanations; while 833 officers have been ordered to be more careful in future. The report appreciated the performance of 403 officers.

According to the report, letters have been written to 20 deputy commissioners, including those in Lahore, Gujrat and Sheikhupura, while show-cause notices have been issued to 43 assistant commissioners, including those of Raiwind, Jhang, Burewala, Sadiqabad, Nankana Sahib and Pindigheb.

The P.M. Office said that the show-cause notices served as a caution for the officials. “Steps are being taken to extend facilities to the people as per the prime minister’s vision,” it said.

The PMDU report, meanwhile, noted that complaints had not been handled in line with a User’s Guidelines Manual for Complaints and Suggestions Handling. It said that the quality of response to citizens’ complaints showed that the system had been left in the hands of subordinates, with majority of decisions taken by them. It claimed that that many resolved complaints lacked verifiable data; some were dropped on wrong pleas; many were decided at an unauthorized level; and unnecessary time was wasted in submission of responses to complainants.

The report also noted that many of the complaints that had not been addressed lacked any cogent reasoning, adding that many so-called “resolved” complaints that had negative feedback had not been reopened to fix the concerns.

The PMDU has been directed by the government to regard public complaints as an instrument to bring improvement. “It helps in identification of under-performing areas of service delivery that can be otherwise addressed timely. Complaints can also be useful in supervision and performance accountability of the concerned officers/officials,” said a document issued by the PMO.

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