Pakistani Utilities Regulators Take Break from Training to Visit Supreme Court, Statehouse
By Csaba Sukosd | August 14, 2018
Members of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (OGRA) got to see how Ohio's state government operates as guests of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
"I was very impressed by the grandeur of the building, how our tour was being conducted, and the processes and the dissemination of justice," said Imran Ghaznavi, the executive director for OGRA.
The group from Pakistan is in the middle of creating a new docketing system and came to Columbus to analyze, shadow, and learn from PUCO's setup as part of a sponsored international program through NARUC. The commission receives grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development to put together shadowing partnerships where employees of the commission travel all over the world to assist countries with utility issues in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
"We are so much impressed with the systems here with the people, with the staff, and everybody," said Ghaznavi.
After days of presentations and hands-on training, they got a break from work with their tour of the city, which included the Ohio Statehouse and Thomas J. Moyer Judicial Center.
"The one thing which I like most is everything it has some meaning with it. All the paintings, they're symbols," said Kanwal Akmal, a deputy executive director for OGRA. "We've also come to know about the architecture of these buildings, some history about Ohio. It was great."
Along with the building itself, the regulators were quick to notice the difference between the state's high court and theirs. There are 17 justices on the Supreme Court of Pakistan, including a chief justice, but only a few of them are hearing cases together due to a larger workload.
"Back home, every case which is being admitted to the Supreme Court, they have to hear it," said Ghaznavi.
The lessons were part of an experience they say will last a lifetime.
"This one of the most rewarding and wonderful visits I've ever had outside of Pakistan," said Ghaznavi.