Planning Minister inaugurates Governance Lab, announces major steps to fight corruption
Islamabad : In order to ensure good governance and transparency in the country, the Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives on Friday formally inaugurated the Governance Innovation Lab at the Ministry of Science & Technology on the occasion of International Anti-Corruption Day. “The key objectives of the Lab will be to enhance transparency, improve service delivery and resolve problems faced by the government departments. The Lab will focus on connecting knowledge with action and act as an agent of change within the public sector”, said the Minister while formally inaugurating the Lab. While quoting the Transparency international report, the Minister said that during PML-N’s tenure (2013-2018), Pakistan was ranked the lowest in its history at the Corruption Perception Index, on the other hand during the PTI’s tenure from 2018-2021, Pakistan reached its worst ever ranking in corruption.
“Unfortunately, the entire nation was misled by the previous government through its rhetoric, while the reality is starkly different”. Said the Minister while referring to the recent apology of Daily Mail which carried out a fabricated story against the Premier Shehbaz Sharif at the behest of the PTI government. The Minister further added that: “Our commitment is not merely based on slogans or deception, rather to take practical steps to eliminate corruption, as developments from 2013-18 demonstrates”. The Minister announced that the Ministry for Planning will establish a hotline and an Ombudsman will be deputed to address the complaints received from citizens and whistle blowers on instances of corruption in PSDP projects. The Governance Innovation Lab, he added, will help provide innovative solutions to improve transparency and provide structural solutions to the menace of corruption. “There is dire need to give confidence to government officials so that they can take decisions based on merit while ensuring transparency without fear of persecution”. Member Governance, Innovation and Reforms at the Planning Commission, Dr. Adnan Rafiq in his opening remarks highlighting the key features of the Governance Innovation Lab, informed the participants that the Planning Ministry took this initiative to create a collaborative community of multi-disciplinary experts to drive public sector reforms. “The GIL will focus on key governance challenges which include taxation reforms, increasing exports, enhancing ease of doing business, justice system reforms, effective coordination between federal, provincial and local governments and to improve impact of PSDP while reducing leakages,” said Dr Adnan Rafiq while briefing the participants.
Vision 2025, includes Governance, Institutional Reform and Modernization of the Public Sector as its third pillar, which aims to ensure good governance; strengthen institutions such as parliament, judiciary, police, and the civil service; and deliver the benefits of devolution of powers to provincial governments as prescribed in the 18th Amendment.
The Vision seeks an efficient and transparent government, which operates under the rule of law and provides security of life and property to its people. Good governance encompasses excellence in the management of political, economic, and administrative infrastructure, the development of a skilled, motivated, results focused, “high performance” civil service, elimination of corruption, flat, agile, streamlined and Tech-enabled public sector, transparency on government performance, and the building of an effective regulatory framework that leverages supporting technology and global best practices. The Governance Innovation Lab is a key initiative towards achieving these goals.