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Good Governance: Right to Public Services Ordinance laid in the KP Assembly

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Published: January 16, 2014 09:44 am

ISLAMABAD: The PTI led KP  government introduced another initiative to improve governance and ensure the provision of public services to people by bringing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Public Services Ordinance, 2013 in the Assembly on Wednesday in the ongoing (tenth) session of the provincial Assembly.

The Ordinance was unveiled before the public by the PTI leader Imran Khan on December 23, 2013 in a press conference. At that time the PTI Chairmen had stated that the ordinance will “change everything,” while quoted the example of “Nitish Kumar (Indian politician) who has managed to turn around his Bihar state (by introducing a similar law)”.

Tabled by Finance Minister – Siraj-ul-Haq the law was laid on the floor during the third sitting of the ongoing ninth session. According to Chapter two, Article (3) of the ordinance which deals with right to time bound provision of public services; every eligible person shall have the right to public services in a transparent manner within a specified time limit. Furthermore in case of any deficiency in the public service the concerned designated officer will be held accountable and can be asked to compensate by the aggrieved party. The ordinance provides for the citizens to file an appeal in Appellate Authority against rejection of their application on the concerned matter or negligence and insufficient service provided by the authorities, with in thirty days of its rejection or expiry of receipt of deficient.

The Appellate Authority, while deciding the appeals and complaints, will have the same powers as vested in the civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 (Act V of 1908). The Authority will be responsible to dispose of the appeal within thirty days of receipt of the appeal and may impose a fine not less than Rs 500 extending up to Rs25000 in case of failure to provide public service.

It not only provides vast rights to the complainant but also imposes punishment in case of frivolous complaint submitted. An individual filing a false complaint will be given show-cause to justify his stance within fifteen days of its issuance and a fine up to 50,000 rupees will be charged in case of unsatisfactory reply. The Ordinance holds the provision to amend or repeal any difficulty arising while giving effect to the law.

The public officers who have been consistently performing well would also be acknowledged by the government through notifying or publishing their names quarterly in a roll of honor to award their services. It can also prescribe cash rewards to the best performers.

The ordinance paves the way forward for the establishment of KP Right to Public Services Commission with the function to hear the orders of the Appellate Authority, provision for speedy access to public services and payments of compensation in case of delay. The commission will comprise of a Chief Commissioner and two commissioners with a three year term who will be ineligible for re-appointment afterwards.

Some factions of the society including politicians, government officials and media people who have appreciated the intension behind the law have also asked the government to focus on improving services delivery within the existing laws and then bring new ordinances.

Posted by on January 16, 2014. Filed under Featured Stories,Houses,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly,Legislation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry