PESHAWAR: The recently-appointed chief executive officer of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company continues to be on the payroll of a US construction and engineering firm in violation of his employment contract, sources claim.

Saeed Ahmad had got the key post of the provincial government-owned company, tasked with ensuring the province’s speedy industrialisation, in Feb this year.

His appointment came at the culmination of the prolonged management crisis at the company, which resulted into the dissolution of its board and departure of his predecessor.

Mr Saeed’s CV shows that he was working as area resident engineer with Bechtel Corporation/Royal Commission at the Jubail Industrial City of Saudi Arabia.

Sources told Dawn that following reports that the CEO had not severed association with his employer, Bechtel, industries department conducted an inquiry, wherein Bechtel confirmed that Mr Saeed was still their employee.

A source told Dawn that Mr Saeed accepted offer of company’s top slot on Jan 22 and requested to allow him 30 days to serve notice of employment relinquishment on his employer. He joined the company on Feb 26.

The source said the company had asked Mr Saeed to provide his experience certificate, which he declined asking it to use his references.

He said Mr Saeed’s employment status could not be verified by his three references and that only one of his former colleagues in his letter noted that he had left his job on Feb 22.

He said Mr Saeed even left the last date of his job on a company’s form.

The source said the Bechtel’s employee service centre in an email dated May 3, 2018, confirmed that Mr Saeed was still its employee.

Dawn has a copy of the email.

The sources said the CEO’s appointment letter contained Clause 4.5, stating “you are not permitted to engage in any business activity or take employment with any other person/organisation during your employment with the company unless authorized by the company.

The CEO’s appointment letter clause 5.3 states consequences if there is a breach employment contract , stating that the company reserves the right to terminate your employment summarily without assigning any reason, giving any notice or termination payment, if it has reasonable ground to believe are guilty of misconduct or negligence, or have committed any fundamental breach of contract.

The sources said it was strange that Mr Saeed despite availing himself of an ample time did not leave his job with the US firm and made a fulltime employment contract with the company and concealed facts, a violation of his contract.

However, officials in the industries department which oversees the company’s affair told Dawn that they were informed that Mr Saeed was cleared from the Saudi Bechtel earlier in Feb.

They said following the reports of the CEO’s employment with another company, they had asked the company’s officials to look into such reports and verify.

He said under the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan guidelines, the CEO should not be on the payroll of another company.

When contacted, Mr Saeed insisted that he had left his previous employer on April 15.

“April 15 was the day of my exit from Bechtel,” he said.

He said following the rumours of him still being employed with Bechtel, company’s HR committee investigated and he presented all his clearance documents with the committee, which cleared his status.

The EZDMC CEO said the company’s board in its latest meeting had unanimously agreed to the committee’s position.

Belying that claim, a Bechtel Corporation representative said Mr Saeed was working as a senior construction engineer-II with the company.

“This employee has been employed since December 3, 2012,” Darren Stevenson said in a response to Dawn’s April 18 email.

KP secretary industries Fahim Wazir didn’t respond to this correspondent’s calls and text messages sent on his cellphone number.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2018

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