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Date Posted: 11:25:28 08/30/07 Thu
Subject: EMAIL COMPLAINTS
By Javed -02 May 2006
A lot has during the last one year appeared from educated people pointing out that most of the Government Departments web sites were not updated, provide old information, do not have On Line web reply system and where they have email system no reply comes from them etc. For example one such web site had only recently removed name of its ex-Head from the web site as Head of Organisation whereas he had gone as retired about two years back. One web site till December 2005 was very proudly telling the readers this web site last updated in 2001. PTCL web site is giving two different names of same one General Manager. One may differ with political theology of senior journalist Mr. Irshad Ahmed Haqqani but it is a fact his columns speak of his old age wisdom. Last year commenting on our system generally he said that the West today in minutes give response to the common man on internet whereas in our case we have destroyed the shape of our this new technology (my poor translation from urdu).
On huge national expense we are introducing new web sites with a claim that it will bring efficiency and will bring change in working attitude of the bureaucracy. These circles forget it is not the technology rather it is the man who operates a technology which matters. Where having duly paid pension of June & July, the system in this developed age demands a proof that the concerned pensioner was alive in May what real benefit the web sites can bring to this unfortunate nation.
A beautiful Banking Mohtasib web site has been established. Site has Email for addressing the banking mohtasib but in this modern age one cannot file his complaint On Line through this official email. The reason being the Banking Mohtasib system wants a Complaint Form available on website to be filled in, signed by complainant and attached with his written complaint. Is this Complaint Form really necessary and what is this Form? This Complaint Form contains names & addresses both of complainant and that of the Bank concerned including Bank Account number, nature/point of complaint etc which information naturally and invariably in fact is contained in a written or text-message-emailed- complaint. So what is the special significance of this Form which is merely a sort of duplication of complaint. The only additional thing in the complaint Form is complainant telling if he had filed this complaint before or case is or had been in any court. It is natural in case of common account holders or citizens that most complaints are against non issue of cheque book, non receipt of six monthly statement, late credit etc and such account holders cannot even think of going to the courts on such matters. Hence asking from them such things can conveniently be avoided, After registration and acceptance of a complaint such information separately can be asked for if really needed. And this was perhaps the logic that the first Ombudsman Pakistan Honourable Mr. Sardar Mohammed Iqbal, who as per a recent column is still unmatched for, on his Secretariat Complaint Form A mentioned that in case full details about complaint have been mentioned in the written complaint then there is no need of attaching Form A. If a complaint or a communication through email to any Department is not formally entertain-able then for what other purpose the said Department crates a costly email system? The similar On Line Complaints filing systems are available with other Departments like Punjab Government, Sindh Governor, PTA, Punjab Ombudsman etc and they do not ask separately to send a written signed Form. From 1983 to 2000 I do not remember even once eg Federal or Sindh Ombudsman ever not accepting my complaint without their Complaint Forms attached. Once some stranded passengers midnight on the phone from the airport contacted the then Federal Ombudsman Mr. Justice Sardar Iqbal. Without asking them to first fill and submit Form A he came to their rescue over the phone. I am not critical but as a tax payer senior retired citizen I am puzzled that then what is the use of an email system whereas world is not only receiving complaints On Line but solving the problems of the people. The learned Irshad Haqqani was not wrong. One of our Bank on huge expense of account holders has introduced On Line Banking. On Line Forms have been provided which a person On Line Fills up and On Line submits. Hold your breath. After one has submitted his Form On Line and the system thanks the applicant, at the same time an instruction appears on the screen that a Print Out of the On Line submitted Form may be preserved and brought to the Bank personally. What a non sense. On Line Submission and then personally to visit the Bank with copy of the same.
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