Dawn News

To appoint or not to appoint

ISLAMABAD, Aug 14: Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) meeting which will be held on August 27 has become controversial as member of the commission, Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology has shown reservations on the agenda of the meeting and sought explanation from Establishment Division because appointment of MP Scale officers is prerogative of the prime minister but here the commission is going to appoint them, Dawn has learnt.

According to document available with Dawn Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Akhlaq Ahmed Tarar has sent a letter to Establishment Division in which he has stated that HEC has included him in Selection Board being a member of the commission.

Letter says, according to the rules all the appointments in MP Scale are done by the prime minister and for that Establishment Division has already informed through a letter vide O.M No 1(72)/2002-E-6.

On the other hand, HEC has notified a separate Selection Board and summoned a meeting to extend the contracts for appointments of officers.

Through the letter, Establishment Division has been requested to advise if HEC is competent to initiate an independent Selection Board for appointment of Executive Director in MP-I and similar positions in light of its recruitment rules. According to agenda of the meeting, HEC has decided to extend the contracts of MP Scale officers. Contracts of officers will expire in the month of September.

It further states that HEC ordinance does not confer powers to the commission. The powers to make rules under section 21, categorically requires prior approval of controlling authority i.e. prime minister.

An officer of HEC requesting not to be identified said: “According to rules, HEC cannot constitute a selection board for the appointment of officers of MP Scale. It is only prerogative of PM. Chairman HEC or any other officer can be member of selection board but cannot chair.”

“Meeting which was summoned on August 27, cannot discuss the issues of appointments/extensions of contracts of MP scale officers because Chairman HEC is going to preside over the meeting but he cannot chair such kind of meetings,” he said.

Director General Human Resource Department of HEC, Awais Ahmed while talking to Dawn said that the commissions will not only follow the rule, while considering the cases of extension but will assure that the process would be transparent.

Member of the commission and former Senator Razina Alam Khan said that she was not aware if Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar has shown any concerns but she will make sure that nothing would be done against the rules.

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