Pakistan Governance Forum 2014
ISLAMABAD: A workable, doable and viable reform plan in government sector will be implemented immediately after approval from the cabinet based on the recommendations from the Pakistan Governance Forum, said Federal Minister Prof. Ahsan Iqbal.
While opening the Pakistan Governance Forum 2014, Federal minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said that, “there is a need to bridge the gap between knowing and doing in the government”.  He said that the prime minister has ensured the implementation of the recommendations made by the experts in the Governance Forum.  He said that the provinces will also be taken on board for the smooth implementation of the recommendations.
Pakistan Governance Forum was organized by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform as part of its Vision 2025 effort.  He recounted the seven pillars for growth including Democratic Governance, Institutional Reforms and modernization of public sector. The forum was attended by representatives from government, academia, civil society, media and international development partners who gave their input for reform in government.  The forum started with the remembrance of the school children martyred in the Peshawar terrorist attack.
The minister said there is no performance measure system in the government sector. “The system based on grades in the government will work no more”, he said. The government system has become irrelevant due to hierarchical structure which is outdated. “We live in an age of knowledge and information revolution where service delivery needs to be matched with the expectations of the people”, he added.
Prof. Ahsan Iqbal asked the participants of the working groups to chart out Citizen Charter to quantify service delivery in public customer centers. “If given deadline is not followed by any public dealing office the customer should not only be able to register complaint but the concerned official should also be taken to task” he said.
Talking about reforms in Police, the minister said, FIR should be streamlined to provide relief to the people.  The thana culture needs to be changed to make our policing effective and friendly. He said the civil service should be outcome- oriented instead of procedural-driven.
Prof. Ahsan Iqbal pointed out that only those nations are doing well which have built their institutions. He said, “No country can be run on adhoc basis”. He said organizations and institutions need to be built for the smooth progress of the country.
Speaking at the occasion former governor state bank Dr Ishrat Hussain said that the governments and the public are both frustrated and disenchanted with each other due to dysfunctional system. He emphasized all the political parties should develop a consensus on the reform agenda. He also pointed out that the new system cannot be replaced overnight. Dr. Tariq Binori from SDPI said that there are structural issues of governance in government which can only be fixed gradually through reforms.
Working Groups formed in Pakistan Governance Forum deliberated and made recommendations in the following sectors: Civil Service, Education & Health , Service delivery and Citizen Charter, Political and Criminal justice reform, Local Government , Ease of doing business, Accountability and Transparency,  State Owned Enterprises, Legal reforms, Post 18th amendment challenges and opportunities, Performance Management System in public sector. The working groups presented their recommendations for reforms and submitted the detailed reports. The federal minister Ahsan Iqbal appreciated the work of the groups and termed it first major step towards reform.