Ombudsman's
(Mohtasib) Schemes - An
Introduction

 

In the modern world, an ombudsman was first established in 1809 in Sweden. The word "ombudsman" is of Swedish origin and means "representative or agent" of the people.

In 1919, more than a century after Sweden appointed an ombudsman, another Scandinavian country, Finland, adopted the Swedish model for the redressal of public grievances against agencies of state. The next country to follow was Denmark - this happened more recently in 1955.

The first country outside Europe to establish such an office was New Zealand. This was in 1962 and generated tremendous global interest inspiring many countries, in search of good governance to launch such schemes. Today, over 100 countries have such a platform in place.

In 1995, the European Union established the first European Ombudsman under the Maastricht Treaty.

PAKISTAN OMBUDSMAN SCHEMES

In Pakistan, at present, there are five Federal Ombudsmen, i.e., Wafaqi Mohtasib, Federal Tax Ombudsman, Federal Insurance Ombudsman, Federal Ombudsperson for Women and Banking Mohtasib.

Wafaqi Mohtasib

In Pakistan, a beginning was made with the appointment of Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) at the Federal level in 1983.

The primary objective of the Wafaqi Mohtasib was to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify injustices faced by the public from Federal Government Departments. The measure of success achieved by the institution of Wafaqi Mohtasib led to the creation of Provincial Ombudsmen in the provinces of Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Javed Sadiq Malik, Wafaqi Mohtasib has relinquished the charge of the office of Wafaqi Mohtasib on 27th October, 2010 after having completed his four year tenure. The position is at present vacant.

For further information click on the link below:
http://www.mohtasib.gov.pk/

Federal Tax Ombudsman

The growing nature of corporate sector grievances, largely relating to inequitable application of taxation laws, and the Government's desire to promote a just and equitable business environment in Pakistan, prompted the Government to establish an independent Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) during the year 2000.

The FTO has brought considerable relief to businesses during the last 11 years. Businessmen have now found a level of comfort, non-existent in the past, which allows them to confidently and fearlessly make investment decisions in the knowledge that an environment exists where they can expect equity, fair play and justice.

Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Suddle has been appointed as Federal Tax Ombudsman on 3rd June 2009 for a four year term.

For further information click on the link below:
http://www.fto.gov.pk/

Federal Insurance Ombudsman

In pursuance of the Insurance Ordinance 2000, the Office of Federal Insurance Ombudsman (FIO) was established on 2nd May, 2006. The institution is meant to provide analysis, investigation redressal and rectification of any injustice done to a person through maladministration by any of the insurer in the private sector. The key role of the FIO is to provide timely and cost free redressal of the public grievances against alleged maladministration in an insurance company. The cases pertaining to life and general insurance business are looked after by FIO as per the requirements of the Insurance Ordinance 2000 and the Insurance Rules.

Presently Mr. Azhar Ali Farooqui is holding the post of Federal Insurance Ombudsman.

For further information click on the link below:
http://fio.gov.pk/

Federal Ombudsperson for protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace

The Federal Ombudsperson has been appointed on 13th January, 2011 for protection against harassment of Women at Work place.

For further information click on the link below:
http://www.mowd.gov.pk/ombpro.html

Provincial Ombudsman (Mohtasib) Sindh

The establishment of the Mohtasib Sindh (Provincial Ombudsman Sindh) took place through the passage of Sindh Act No. 1 of 1992 (Establishment of the Office of Ombudsman for the Province of Sindh Act, 1991). This law empowers Provincial Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Sindh to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify any injustice done to a person through mal-administration of an Agency of the Government of Sindh.

The Ombudsman Sindh is the first institute in the country to have a Children's Complaint Office (CCO) in the secretariat Provincial Ombudsman Sindh in collaboration with UNICEF, which specifically looks after the rights of the children and young people. Mr. Asad Ashraf Malik is presently holding the position of Provincial Ombudsman Sindh.

For further information click on the link below:
www.mohtasibsindh.gov.pk

Provincial Ombudsman (Mohtasib) Punjab

The Institution of Ombudsman was established by virtue of The Punjab Office of the Ombudsman Act, 1997, which provides for the appointment of the Provincial Ombudsman for protection of the rights of the people, ensuring adherence to the rule of law, diagnosing, redressing and rectifying any injustice done to a person through maladministration and suppressing corrupt practices as enshrined in its preamble. Mr. Khalid Mahmood was sworn as 5th Ombudsman for the Province of Punjab on 8th December 2008.

For further information click on the link below:
www.ombudsmanpunjab.gov.pk

Provincial Ombudsman (Mohtasib) Balochistan

The Ordinance for establishment of office of Ombudsman for province of Balochistan, 2001 provides a comprehensive procedure to discharge duty for redressal of grievances of needy people and to control the state functionaries to implement the decisions against mal-administration.

The Provincial Ombudsman and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) Balochistan has signed an agreement for establishment of a children complaint office, on 21st October, 2009 in order to provide an opportunity to children to be heard in judicial or administrative proceedings and decisions thereof which effect them and to redress their grievances.

Mr. Akbar Ali Baloch is presently holding the post of Ombudsman Balochistan Pakistan.

Provincial Ombudsman (Mohtasib) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been established under The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Provincial Ombudsman ACT, 2010 for protection of the rights of the people, ensuring adherence to the rule of law, redressing and rectifying any injustice done to a person through maladministration, suppress corrupt practices and to ensure good governance.

Mr. Badshah Gul Wazir, has been appointed as the first Provincial Ombudsman for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Azad Jammu & Kashmir Mohtasib (Ombudsman)

The Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Secretariat was established in 1991 through an ordinance. It is a quasi-judicial institution. Its mandate is to undo the injustice done through maladministration and to redress the grievance of an aggrieved person/ persons.

Mr. Muhammad Rashid Khan, Mohtasib AJ & K on completion of his tenure on 19th July, 2012 relinquished the charge of the office of Mohtasib AJ & K on 19th July, 2012. The position is at present vacant.

For further information click on the link below:
http://snga.ajk.gov.pk/

 
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