Govt promises IMF to modify NAO and FIA Acts

The government has committed to further revise the Federal Investigation Act and the National Accountability Ordinance as part of a review of Pakistan’s anti-corruption framework that is conditional on the IMF, according to an interim official report

The study was provided to the IMF as part of the lender’s requirement that a team thoroughly evaluate Pakistan’s institutional structure for combating graft.

The interim report contains the task force’s recommendations for changes to the NAO, 1999, and the FIA Act, 1974.

After the government made adjustments to the NAO that benefited both politicians and bureaucrats equally, the IMF imposed the condition last year.

However, the task force’s formation took the government six months. The force was then urgently invited to two meetings last month to complete an interim report that would be given to the IMF.

It informed the task force about the review of the institutional structure of anti-corruption institutions as late as December 27.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar was chosen to lead the task force. Its other members were former Punjab chief secretary Nasir Mahmood Khosa, minister of state for finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha, and ex-finance secretary Younus Dagha.

One of the recommendations made by the task force was that anti-corruption organizations should have clearly defined jurisdictions.

According to the report, institutional corruption should be curbed through a preventative strategy, and if suspects were found guilty, prescribed consequences could be guaranteed.

The commission requested an audit of public sector departments’ accounts in another suggestion.

It also recommended enhancing the skills of anti-graft agency employees.