ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar on Saturday convened a meeting of relevant departments to monitor compliance with Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy. Chairing the meeting here, Dr Sania said, “The meeting is an excercise done regularly to assess the status of compliance and progress on the Governance and Integrity Policy baseline before final one-year stock take that will be conducted in December, 2020.”
She continued, “Implementation of the Ehsaas Governance Policy and Observatory is underway since last year. Since the roll out of the governance policy and observatory, the Ehsaas entities have shown improvements in the execution of governance reforms and we are trying to make their systems as robust as possible. Transparency and integrity is at the heart of policy and observatory.” In November 2019, Poverty Alleviations and Social Safety Division (PASSD) formally began the execution of the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy and Observatory, following its approval by the cabinet.
The policy is premised to ensure that organizations involved in delivery of welfare are effective and responsive to the needs of the disadvantaged populations. The Governance Observatory assists as an execution and tracking instrument for the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy and it engages all ancillary organisations to adhere to the Ehsaas values and principles in their true essence. To drive forward a transparency and integrity revolution, the policy stipulates a range of measures around how governing board should operate, which policies and legal instruments are critical, and the significance of conflict of interest and whistle blowing.
It also outlines the organisational framework to reinforce integrity through risk management and assurance, maintenance of risk registers, appointment of accountability officers; error, fraud and corruption frameworks, IT security systems, solidification of financial and fiduciary systems, procurement systems, access to information, electronic filing, development of work plans, and creation of credible data sets. Also, the policy strongly aims to abolish discretionary powers. The policy also specifies that by the end of four years, PASSD will strive to use block chain technology driven systems to safeguard data transparency and integrity particularly for the registration of assets, verification of identity and the tracking of transactions.
The meeting was attended by the officials of ancillary organisations of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) namely BISP, Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Trust for Voluntary Organisations and Higher Education Commission.