FIA to enter new era after PML-N govt-approved restructuring


Finance ministry to increase agency’s funds by Rs480 million every year


ISLAMABAD: Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is all set to enter a new era as the outgoing government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), viewing the agency’s expanded mandate, approved its restructuring plan prior to its departure, Pakistan Today has learnt.

This first-ever big step to revamp and strengthen the agency through a restructuring plan was taken by the government of PML-N, keeping in view inclusion of a number of new areas, particularly cybercrime. Also, to curb heinous crimes including money laundering, funding to terrorists and human smuggling, the restructuring plan developed by FIA Director General (DG) Bashir Ahmed Memon will be implemented in three phases as finance ministry has approved the plan with an additional budget.

Documents regarding FIA’s restructuring plan disclose that former premier Shahid Khaqqan Abbasi approved the restructuring plan on May 31, 2018, following the recommendations of a five-member committee constituted to examine the plan in depth.

The committee, constituted by ex-PM Abbasi, to examine the proposed plan held meetings and in-depth deliberations on 25th, 26th and 28th May in the Establishment Division and examined the restructuring proposal prepared by FIA and presented to the prime minister. The committee agreed to the need for an overall restructuring of the agency, but recommended a phased approach.

According to the approved restructuring plan of the agency, the restructuring plan would be implemented in three phases.

In the first phase, 486 essential positions including those of three additional director generals, eight directors, seven additional directors, 32 deputy directors, 95 assistant directors and 341 inspectors would be filled during the next financial year.

Similarly, restructuring of cybercrime, NCB-Interpol, academy and anti-human smuggling/trafficking, as well as investigation/prosecution areas, are to be made in phase-I. Moreover, seven composite circles to cover the neglected areas with high prevalence of migrant smuggling/trafficking are included in phase-I. Furthermore, revamping of admin and immigration wings would be made in phase-II and III besides the creation of three new zones and development of five functional directorates.

Modern techniques of investigation, use of modern technology and training of staff would also be utilised.

An official of the finance ministry, seeking anonymity, told Pakistan Today that over two thousand positions would be created and filled in the three phases of restructuring and the finance ministry would increase FIA’s funds by Rs480 million every year.