Friday, October 17, 2008

New Website of the Wafaqi Mohtasib Launched With Online Complaints Service

The Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) of Pakistan has launched a new website www.mohtasib.gov.pk. The new website is packed with interactive and exciting new features, including the facility to file a complaint online, get detailed information on how to file a complaint in writing, as well as how the Ombudsman can help and subjects that are outside his jurisdiction.

Visitors to the website are offered concise but complete guidance on how the Ombudsman can help redress grievances against federal agencies. The availability of the innovative feature of online complaint filing will facilitate the public and likely speed up complaint processing time. Complaints can also be filed through email (
complaints@mohtasib.gov.pk), by clicking on the link provided for this purpose.

The new website is content-rich, providing information about the Ombudsman’s services and how these can be accessed, in a simple, easy to understand narrative. To provide a point-and-click web browsing experience, attractive icons and simple links have been provided, which assist the user in viewing information easily. To further assist the users, a Frequently Asked Questions section provides brief but complete information about the Ombudsman’s work, mandate and operations.

2 comments:

javwpm said...

According to the newspapers of `5 October 2008 the Wafaqi Mohtasib has launched a new website to improve its outreach and facilitate the public. I could not stop abrupt smile coming on my face. A year back surfing the net I came across an official website named as Access to Justice Programme. In the list of its Projects in hand (of course I think on the cost of international loans/assistance) was under construction a website for Sindh Ombudsman. It stated the website will facilitate the easy interaction between the public and the Sindh Ombudsman. Sindh Ombudsman has been provided since 4-5 an email system which too is a part of website technology and is on expense of we the citizen. During all these 4-5 years I have never received any response from the Sindh Ombudsman seeking progress on my two complaints except that the first very response I got three months back from a newly appointed Director General. He told me he had just taken over and would deal with matters and I would soon get progress. Three months have passed. So where is the ease and speedy interaction. Except for once or twice I have never ever got any response through email system from the Federal Ombudsman. About six months back some newspapers stated one Mr. Hafiz Abdulla has been appointed as the Federal Ombudsman. Some newspapers stated Mr. Hafiz Abdulla has taken over charge as Federal Ombudsman. Since it was “then” confusing I sent twice emails to the Secretary Federal Ombudsman Secretariat to know the fact but never got any response. Recently the office advised me to contact an investigation officer but the email it provided either is non working or obsolete with the result my emails to the said investigation officers came back undelivered resulting my complaint decided ex-parte/due to non response. On huge cost the much better looking website site has been provided to the Banking Ombudsman but one cannot file a complaint through website email then what is the use of spending and keep spending on this website. The then Punjab Ombudsman on completing his tenure went home but his name as the Official Punjab Ombudsman remained on the website for about 18 months and was only removed when I pointed out. Like Federal Ombudsman the Punjab Ombudsman too changed with styles its official website. The fun was on old website the name of gone home Ombudsman was shown and on the new looked website name of current ombudsman with the result thus showing the Punjab Ombudsman had at a time two ombudsmen. Does our ombudsman system really value this modern technology. As quoted above the Banking Mohtasib does not accept complaint through its website. Four years back I made a mistake. Instead going to post office I consulted the Pakistan Post Office website to know the postal rates. I posted letters to family friends according to these website displayed rates. All recipients had to pay deficient postage plus the penalty as these website displayed postal rates where three years old. I raised it as a formal complaint with the concerned Ombudsman that displaying old rates misguiding the public was an act of mal administration and I should be refunded the amounts charged as penalty and deficient but the concerned Ombudsman did not find in it any wrong if Post Office had displayed wrong rates by not updating the website despite having a battalion of webmasters. My complaint was turned down. So if an ombudsman does not take it seriously how it can be believed he would ensure his website provides ease to the citizens.

Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) of Pakistan said...

Dear Sir/Madam

Thank you for your comment. While we agree with you that generally speaking, public sector websites are not adequately maintained or updated, we strive to be different.

Visitors to our website may come for different reasons, such as simply learning about our services and how and in which cases we can help; others for filing online complaints. Hence we have tried to include and offer features and content that will facilitate and guide citizens, as well as allow an opportunity to those who wish to file a complaint, with an online service.

We apologise for the inconvenience you faced earlier in getting through to us. As regards your complaint regarding the post office, it is difficult to comment since details (complaint number, date when filed) are not available. Please note however, that our Findings are given after careful consideration and review of relevant laws, rules and regulations and we aim to be fair in our decisions.

As for your comments about the Sindh, Punjab and Banking Ombudsmen, since this is something they need to address, we cannot offer any comments. We will however, pass your comments on to them and know that officers of these institutions read this blog, so they would see your comments as well.

You would agree that nothing can be perfect, but if the intentions are right, as ours are, better services can be offered to the public. We look forward to your further comments and contributions on this blog.