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Activity Report from March to July 2004

A number of activities have been undertaken during the past 5 months related to the project. The important activities are list below: -

GENERAL

•  Visit to Hungary to attend policy seminar (March 26-April 4, 2004)

•  Designing and floating the website. All relevant data has been published at the website, which is fully operational since April 2004 and being updated continuously.

•  Purchase of Laptop Computer and Digital Camera.

Contact with the important stakeholders

 

 

Pakistan

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Federal Ombudsman Office, Islamabad , Pakistan .

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Meeting held with the Federal Ombudsman Mr. Imtiaz Ahmed Sahibzada on June 25, 2004. Honourable Ombudsman was apprised of the various aspects of the study and requested cooperation for completing the study. The Ombudsman was pleased to extend all possible cooperation of his office for completing the study.

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Meeting held with the Secretary, Federal Ombudsman on June 25, 2004, discussed in detail about the working of the Federal ombudsman Office.

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Frequent meetings with the internal Mentor (Mr. Mohammad Bashir, Advisor, Federal Ombudsman Secretariat) and discussion on the working of the Ombudsman Office in Pakistan , issues confronted and ways to improve its effectiveness.

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Meeting with the other high ranking officials of Federal Ombudsman Secretariat, which include Director General (Admn), Registrar, Director Coordination, etc.

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Contact has been made with the Tax Ombudsman in Pakistan and Annual Reports have been collected.

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Contacted with the Provincial Ombudsman, Balochistan , Pakistan and collected Annual Reports and other data.

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Contacted with the Provincial Ombudsman, Punjab , Pakistan , and collected Annual Reports and other data.

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Contacted with the Provincial Ombudsman, Sindh , Pakistan and collected Annual Reports and other data.

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Contacted with the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Ombudsman and collected Annual Reports and other data.

 

Australia

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Getting visa for Australia and making other arrangements for visit the visit to Australia would taken place from August 13 to August 21, 2004.

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The following meetings have been fixed in Australia : -

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Meeting with Commonwealth Ombudsman contact person Ms. Elizabeth Courtney-Frost, Chief Information Officer, Commonwealth Ombudsman, Canberra , Australia .

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Meeting with the NSW Ombudsman fixed on August 16, 2004. Contact person Mr. Greg Andrews, Assistant Ombudsman, Sydney Australia.

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Meeting with Mr. John Powley, Public Health and Insurance Ombudsman, Sydney , Australia

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Contact is also being established with other stakeholders, in particular concerned government departments for brief discussion and getting feedback on Ombudsman's work and its effectiveness

 

United Kingdom

 

Due to difficulties being faced to get response from the Office of Parliamentary Ombudsman and making arrangements for visit to New Zealand , a request was made to Ms. Pamela for replacing United Kingdom instead of New Zealand . The request was acceded to and New Zealand has been replaced for UK from July 23, 2004. Contacts are being made with the concerned officials of Parliamentary Ombudsman and other Offices for holding meeting during my visit to UK in October, 2004 (October 4-12, 2004).

 

Meeting with Donors

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A meeting was held with Mr. Abid Hasan, Operation Advisor, World Bank Resident Mission in Pakistan on May 6, 2004. The objective of the meeting was to explain the various aspects of the study and mobilize World Bank support for the project.  

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A meeting was held with Dr. Douglas Porter of Asian Development Bank and his colleague on May 14, 2004. Dr. Porter is focal person for implementation of Access to Justice Program in Pakistan . Access to Justice Program includes a component for strengthening of Ombudsman institution in Pakistan . ADB has expressed keen interest in the project and implementation of its recommendations.

 

Other Stakeholders

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Held meeting with Justice (R) Amjid Ali and discussed about the evolution of Ombudsman office in Pakistan . Mr. Amjid Ali was the first Director General (Admn.) of Federal Ombudsman Office and therefore, fully conversant of the development of the institution in Pakistan .

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Held meeting with Mr. Naeemul Haq, Member, National Reconstruction Bureau. He is the key officer who has been responsible, alongwith others, for the development and implementation of Devolution of Power Plan in Pakistan . He was apprised of the key aspects of the study and possibilities for establishment of District Ombudsmen at the District level as provided in the Local Government Ordinance were discussed.

 

Collection of information/data/material

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Copies of the relevant Acts, Regulations related to Australia , Pakistan and UK have been collected.   

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A lot of information has been collected like annual reports of Federal Ombudsman in Pakistan (Past 10 years), Annual Reports of Provincial Ombudsmen and AJK (past 5 years), photocopies of the research articles and other relevant publications

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Order has been placed for a number of publications published by International Ombudsman Institute, Alberta , Canada .

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A number of important titles, surveys and reports published by Ombudsmen Offices or other sources would also be collected during my visit to Australia and UK , in particular books written by Professor Gregory Roy and Philip Giddings.

Resources available at the internet, in particular, at the concerned websites have been reviewed comprehensively.

 

Project Outline

Project Outline has been drafted and published on the web.

 

Activities planned in the coming weeks/months

 

A series of meetings are being planned with various stakeholders, in particular, Law Division, important public sector institutions, involved in public service delivery at various levels and against whom majority of complaints are made, representatives of bar associations, ex-Ombudsmen and ex-Officials who served in the Ombudsman office and other civil society activists.

 

Draft Research Paper

 

The draft research paper is expected to be ready by end September as provided in the project time schedule . It is expected that a number of brief papers related to the main research paper would be written and published at the website as well as in the newspaper before the study is finalized.

 

Research Methodology

 

The following research methodology has been adopted to complete the study: -

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Review of literature on Ombudsman in general theoretical basis of ombudsman office in the modern world and its evolution.

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Review of literature on ombudsman in the target countries i.e. Australia , Pakistan and UK in particular review of Acts, regulations, surveys, reports and other printed material. Comparison of design parameters, identifying the similarities and dissimilarities, workflow process, use of various tools etc.

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Feedback from the stakeholders selected interviews or filling of questionnaire.

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Analysis of the colleted information and data to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the Ombudsman institution in Australia , Pakistan and UK . In this regards the following variables have been considered important: -
 

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No. of cases registered.
 

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Number of complaints falling out of jurisdiction
 

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No. of cases decided.
 

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No. of delayed cases and backlog.
 

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Cost incurred per case.
 

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Time consumed to decide a case.
 

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Complainant satisfaction
 

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Overall response of the Public Sector Agencies.
 

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Improvement in administration and number of laws amended.
 

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Complaint - staff ratio   
 

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Use of modern tools of information technology and
 

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Closeness to the people - accessibility