Vice President Syed Adil Gilani (L) and PIA Chairman Kirmani signing
the Integrity Pact
PIA Signs Integrity Pact
Which Ex-Chairman Had Refused to Sign
M A Siddiqui
June 14: Pakistan’s national airline, PIA, has finally reversed
many of the policies of the previous management of ex-Chairman
Ahmed Saeed and has signed an “Integrity Pact” with
global anti-corruption watchdog organization, Transparency International,
something Saeed had refused to do for three years.
management of Tariq Kirmani has thus, by implication, conceded
that the previous management of Chairman Saeed was following corrupt
practices in many areas, specially purchases, known to be worth
millions of dollars.
Pact was signed as a Memorandum of Understanding on June 10 and
copies of the three-page MOU were officially provided to the South
Asia Tribune by Transparency International Pakistan (TIP)
Vice President, Syed Adil Gilani. Click
to View MOU Page1 | Page2 | Page3
signing came after TIP had publicly written on May 6 to the new
Chairman to sign the Pact as he had taken over the reigns of a
gigantic public sector company which has not very good perception
on its procurement.
The implicit admission that ex-Chairman
Saeed’s administration was corrupt was made by the new Chairman
himself who, while speaking on the occasion of the signing ceremony
said the MOU was “basically a route which the PIA was adopting
to bring transparency and excellence in procurements.
to a Press release issued by PIA after the ceremony, Chairman
Tariq Kirmani made an apparently negative reference to the Saeed
administration and said: “The present policy of PIA where
different departments are making purchases separately is being
improvised and a centralized procurement system which caters to
the needs of all the departments is being established.”
Click to read Press release
By rejecting this PIA policy,
used massively by the previous PIA Chairman, for the most prolific
buying spree in PIA history during which new aircraft were purchased,
new systems installed though not needed, new and unfit aircraft
seats were installed at exorbitant price, new planes on lease
were taken and old planes were sold at dubious price, the new
management wants to create for itself a new image.
“This agreement with Transparency
International will further not only financial benefits but will
also earn the organization a good reputation,” the PIA Press
release said, stressing the urgency of earning a good reputation
as against its existing image.
MOU with TIP, or the Integrity Pact, which was due to be signed
on June 3, 2005 was finally inked at a ceremony on June 10. “The
Integrity Pact is a tool developed by TIP which ensures that all
activities and decision of public offices are transparent and
that the projects/works are implemented, services are provided
or taken, and good/material are supplied without giving bribe
or allowing for any kind of benefit, financial or otherwise,”
The main clause of the MOU is
that PIA will establish accountability in all its dealings and
try to provide all the necessary checks and balances in an effort
towards a transparent procurement system.
“A Coordination Committee
of PIA and TIP will be formed to implement the Integrity Pact
in its procurement systems,” the MOU said. This committee
will have three member from PIA and two from TIP while Secretary
General of TIP will act as Chairman.
The other reassuring points included
in the MOU say all important decisions taken by PIA will be made
public, PIA will make its source of income and revenues public,
PIA will inform all about the activities carried out under the
Integrity Pact, the Committee will identify and list all issues
of transparency and evaluation of Tenders criteria in the procurement
The most important clause is that
the PIA management has conceded that all “existing contract
documents” will be subjected to scrutiny under the Integrity
Pact, which means that the deals done by ex-Chairman Ahmed Saeed
will be examined and in some cases, if found dirty, may be probed
and those who benefited may be prosecuted.
The TIP will vet all PIA tender
documents says another clause of the MOU but TIP will not be part
of the tendering process in any way. It will, however, provide
experts to PIA without any cost. TIP will be provided all documents
to scrutinize any deal, the MOU says.
The signing of the Integrity Pact
marks a major step forward towards more transparency in PIA but
the way the new Chairman has been moving at a painfully slow speed
indicates he is under tremendous pressure not to annoy the friends
of the ex-Chairman inside the circle of General Musharraf.
Experts say by shifting the onus
of catching the thieves to TIP, the new Chairman is trying to
avoid direct responsibility of undoing what Ahmed Saeed did to
“The dilemma for Mr Kirmani
is that if he owns what Ahmed Saeed has left behind, he cannot
justify it or turn the airline around. If he does not own these
misdeeds he annoys powerful friends of Saeed in the top echelons
of authority which may endanger his own job,” a PIA executive
said on condition of anonymity.
Integrity Pact with TIP is thus seen by Kirmani and others as
the face saving way to nab the thieves while staying on the right
side of the power wielders.
earlier SAT story