In a bid to digitize its fight against corrupt elements in the country, the government of Pakistan recently launched an anti-corruption app that will allow citizens to report dishonest and fraudulent activities conducted by those in power. Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the aptly named ‘Report Corruption’ mobile app on the International Anti-Corruption Day, urging the youth to participate in the process and expose those who are involved in such activities.
“A country cannot prosper where the rulers are involved in corrupt practices,” Khan said during the launching ceremony. “A corrupt person is an enemy of the nation,” he added.
The graft-fighting app was introduced by the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Punjab, a sub-department of the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) functioning under the Government of Punjab. The Report Corruption mobile app, which aims to transform Pakistan into a modern and transparent nation, will allow users to lodge complaints anonymously.
As per the report published in a local English daily, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar suggested the digitization of the entire anti-corruption department is currently on the cards. Moreover, according to the director of the Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab, their department had received over 31,000 complaints of corruption during the past 16 months alone. He further told the newspaper that 6,883 inquiries were also held while approximately PKR 179.88 crore had so far been recovered. They also reportedly retrieved land worth PKR 1273.89 crore from illegal occupation.
Now, with the introduction of the Report Corruption mobile app, these figures can potentially increase since reporting such incidents will become much more convenient.
Let’s take a look at how this new anti-corruption app in Pakistan works and what are its features.
Features of the Report Corruption App
The Report Corruption mobile app, which is available for download on Google Play Store, provides its users with an opportunity to report cases of corruption falling in the Punjab jurisdiction from the safety of their homes. In fact, they can even lodge a complaint anonymously, avoiding any risk of potential backlash. However, one will need to present evidence to proceed with their complaint.
Once you’ve installed and opened the new mobile app to stem corruption in Pakistan on your device, you’ll be presented with four options:
- Report Corruption
- Lodge Complaint
- Trap Raids
- Track Complaints
While the features such as ‘report corruption,’ ‘lodge complaints’ and ‘track complaints’ are pretty self-explanatory, the term ‘trap raids’ might be new for some.
To put it simply, conducting a trap raid essentially means catching the accused red-handedly. Such raids can be conducted to catch any public servant taking a bribe or committing a similar crime under the anti-corruption laws of Pakistan. However, the presence of an ACE officer accompanied by a special judicial magistrate is mandatory for such operations.
How to Report Graft through the App
The Report Corruption mobile app boasts a user-friendly interface, making it easy-to-use even for those who aren’t much tech-savvy. Moreover, it also offers the facility to upload evidence in the form of documents, photos and videos.
Here are the four things you can do via this smart application:
- Reporting cases of corruption
- Filing a complaint with ACE
- Requesting a trap raid
- Tracking the status of your complaint
Let’s take a look at how you can go about reporting corruption in Pakistan to the relevant authorities through this app to fight graft.
After you open the app on your phone and click on the window that says ‘Report Corruption,’ you’ll be directed towards an online form asking for the following details.
- Your district
- National Identity Card (NIC) number
- Phone number
- Full name
- Additional details (500 words). This step is optional.
A red button on top will also ask you to attach evidence in the form of photos, documents and/or videos. You can attach up to 10 files at a time.
Once you’ve added all the required details in the mandatory fields and attached the evidence of corruption, you simply need to press the submit button to proceed with your report.
Lodging a Complaint
In order to lodge a complaint, the user must click on the relevant window and enter the following details into their app.
- The name of your district
- NIC number
- Phone number
- Full name
- Additional details (optional)
This window also requires you to attach evidence in the form of images, videos and documents.
However, the most noteworthy feature of this window is that it allows users to file their complaint anonymously by checking the ‘Hide My Identity’ box at the bottom of the page. Then, simply press the yellow submit button to proceed.
Conducting Trap Raids
This window on the Report Corruption mobile app also asks users to enter similar details. But, unlike others, it does not require any evidence.
All you need to do is select your district, enter your NIC number along with your phone number and full name. You can also provide additional details if you want to. Once you press the submit button on the app, your application goes into the process.
As per the information available on the official website of Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab, following the submission of an application, an ACE officer is appointed by the Regional Director to conduct the raid. The said officer then requests for the appointment of a special judicial magistrate, who acts as a supervisor of the trap raid.
After the raid proceedings are completed, the judicial submits a detailed report to the designated ACE officer for further action.
You can keep track of your reports and complaints through this feature of the anti-corruption app. All that you need to do is enter the tracking ID that’s sent to your mobile phone into the required field and press the ‘Track Complaint’ button to learn about the status of your application.
Other Ways to Lodge a Complaint with Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab
Apart from reporting a corruption case through the graft-fighting app, you can also lodge a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Establishment either in person or by post.
Where and how to lodge a complaint?
As per the official ACE website, an individual can file a written complaint at any of its offices, including at the Directorate, Regional Offices and Deputy Directors of Districts.
It is important to mention the plaintiff must support their application with an affidavit detailing the contents of their complaint. A photocopy of the complainant’s NIC card is also required.
How long does it take to process a complaint?
ACE Punjab responds to such complaint within a week’s time, after which they initiate an inquiry granted the complainant provided sufficient evidence to support their claim. This inquiry is conducted to establish if the complaint is genuine.
Meanwhile, this preliminary inquiry is not required for Trap Raid cases.
When is the case registered?
A case against the accused is only registered if the ACE officer who conducted the initial inquiry proposes the complaint as valid. However, case registration widely depends on the case scenario.
On the other hand, if the allegations mentioned in the complaint are not established by the concerned authorities, the case is dropped off following legal scrutiny.
How to Contact ACE Punjab?
For more details about corruption inquiries and investigations, you can contact the headquarters or one of the regional offices of Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab.
Here are the details:
Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab Headquarter
Address: 2-Farid Kot House, Lahore
Regional Offices of Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab
|8-G Upper Mall Scheme, Lahore
|H. No. 162/2 Adam Jee Road Rawalpindi Cantt.
|Mohalla Ameer Abad Chungi no.7, Rijwana Road Multan
|Old DHO Office, Session Court Road Gujranwala
|Commissioner Complex-111 New Civil Line, Near Commissioner Office, Faisalabad
|Mela Mandi Road near Anti-Corruption Court, Sargodha
|Nearby Commissioner Office, Bahawalpur
|Opposite Center of Excellence Govt. Girls Central Model High School D.G. Khan
|Tehsil Road near district Courts Sahiwal
Digitization of Government Services
The launch of the Report Corruption app was definitely a much-needed step for the eradication of corruption from Pakistan. But it is not the only mobile app introduced by the government of Pakistan to facilitate the citizens.
Since modern technology has made our lives much easier (you can book a cab and have food delivered to your home with just a few finger strokes on your smartphone), having the ability to file one’s grievances with the government and report grafts through our phones will make these processes more convenient and time-effective.
Here are some of the other digitization campaigns and mobile apps that have made life a lot easier for Pakistanis:
- Digital Pakistan Campaign
- Pakistan Citizen Portal
- Device Verification System (DVS) – DIRBS Pakistan
- FBR Tax Asaan App
- E-Court Portal
Let’s further discuss each of these initiatives.
Digital Pakistan Campaign
Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the ‘Digital Pakistan Campaign’ earlier this month with an aim to transform Pakistan into a ‘digitally empowered society’ introducing the latest technologies for public welfare. Former Google executive Tania Aidrus was chosen to spearhead the digitization campaign.
The Digital Pakistan initiatives include:
- Internet access for every Pakistani
- Enabling the youth to use smartphones for constructive purposes.
- Introducing e-governance by digitizing intra-government communications as well as government services
- Imparting emerging tech and digital skills among the young generation.
- Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship by providing an enabling environment
The news about the launch of the Digital Pakistan Campaign came shortly after Moody’s Corporation, an international credit rating agency, upgraded Pakistan’s Credit Rating Outlook to stable.
Pakistan Citizen Portal
Pakistan Citizen Portal is one of the top government-owned apps every Pakistani should have on their smartphone. Launched in October 2018, this mobile app was one of the first digital initiatives undertaken by the current government. It even secured second place in the list of ‘best government mobile applications’ during the World Government Summit 2019.
As the name suggests, Pakistan Citizen Portal allows users to register their complaints online through their smartphones regardless of the country they are currently based in. It also allows people to enter their queries, seek information and give suggestions.
Moreover, the portal features a number of categories meant for different government departments on both provincial and federal levels. The categories include Government Service Matters, Registration, Law and Order, Energy and Power, Education, Healthcare, Revenue, Municipal Services and Human Rights to name a few.
You can download Pakistan Citizen’s Portal for free through Google Play Store.
Device Verification System (DVS) – DIRBS Pakistan
Launched by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) in 2018, the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) is a server-based software platform that identifies smuggled, counterfeit and stolen mobile phones in the country. This digital system was implemented for a couple of reasons. First of all, it aimed to ensure only registered and approved mobile devices are operational in Pakistan. Secondly, it intended to discourage phone theft and smuggling, as it keeps a check on all the phones being imported in the country. Thirdly, and most importantly, DIRBS brings all the mobile devices being used across Pakistan into a net.
It is now mandatory in Pakistan to register your phone with PTA, especially if you are importing or bringing it from abroad. Otherwise, your device can get blocked.
You can find out more about the topic in our detailed guide on PTA mobile registration.
FBR Tax Asaan App
Paying taxes in Pakistan has never been easier, all thanks to the Tax Asaan App. It was launched by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) with an aim to revolutionize the tax system in Pakistan, which it successfully did.
The Tax Assan app allows users to pay their taxes online through its E-Payment feature. It also lets taxpayers make their payment using Alternate Delivery Channels while enabling them to create payment slips for income and sales tax.
Another important feature of this app is that it allows users to check their taxpayer status via its Online Verification System. Furthermore, you can also register your business for sales tax with the FBR’s Tax Asaan mobile app.
The app can be downloaded through the Google Play Store.
The E-Court Portal
Following the popularity of e-court systems around the world, which employ the emerging digital possibilities and the latest hardware to make things more convenient for both the judges and justice seekers, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa also inaugurated the first-ever e-court portal system.
The Supreme Court’s litigant-friendly e-court portal aimed to digitize the judiciary in Pakistan by making the legal system more responsive and time-efficient. The portal was launched alongside a new and improved website featuring a number of smart tools.
As per the official press release, the Supreme Court IT committee worked with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to launch the system.
The main features of the Supreme Court’s e-portal include a video link facility, an online case search tool, a judgment search window and a cause list search.
These apps and portals are only some of the steps taken by the government to digitize its services for the welfare of the public. While initiatives like FBR’s Tax Asaan App and the Pakistan Citizen Portal are being widely used, innovative apps like the recently-launched Report Corruption are also gaining popularity.
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