Workshop: Seminar on Anti-Corruption
Date: December 04, 2020
Transparency International Pakistan organized an online seminar on Anti-Corruption. The objective of the seminar was to highlight the importance of International Anti-Corruption Day being celebrated on December 9th and the need for the civil society to collectively raise voice against corruption.
Number of civil society representatives including Mr. Anwar Mahar from District Sukkur, Mr. Musa Khan Mengal from District Kallat, Mr. Tariq from District Benazirabad, Mr. Altaf Baloch from District Jaffrabad, Mr. Sajid Saddar from District Mitiari attended the seminar and shared their experience of the challenge of governance and the lack of implementation of laws at the grassroots level.
Mr. Ashfaque Ahmed, Project Coordinator, TI Pakistan highlighted the importance of Right to Information as a tool to fight corruption. He discussed various provisions of the right law and emphasized on the need for better awareness among the general public so that more and more citizens use the RTI to hold government accountable.
In the end, Mr. Kashif Ali, Program Manager TI Pakistan gave the concluding remarks with an emphasis on the importance of Anti-Corruption in the context of COVID-19. He shared that since the outset of COVID-19 pandemic, TI Pakistan has been advocating with the federal and provincial governments to ensure that all the contract award information pertaining to COVID-19 is public. He said that Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan enshrines the access to information as a fundamental right under which citizens have the right to know at what prices the health related expenses are being incurred in the context of COVID-19. Mr. Kashif further emphasized that Rule 47 of Pakistan Public Procurement Regulatory Authority PPRA Rules also emphasizes on Transparency and Access to Information in public procurement. He shared that due to the consistent efforts of TI Pakistan, federal government and provincial governments of Sindh, Punjab and KP have released notifications and made it mandatory for the departments to hoist all contract award related information on the PPRA website.
Mr. Kashif also emphasized that transparency in the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine is crucial for the equity in the distribution. He said as the governments world over are spending billions on the procurement of vaccine, it should be ensured and made public the agreements which are signed with the companies so that people know at what price the vaccine is purchased and at what price it should be sold in the market.
In the end, Q&A session was held during which the participants asked the speakers various questions. Participants also acknowledged the efforts of TI Pakistan towards the fight against corruption.