LAHORE: The Punjab Health Facilities Management Company (PHFMC) and the audit department of the auditor general’s (AG) office have locked horns over the authority to extend re-employment contracts of the company employees after the PHFMC challenged audit objections to the contractual appointments of its two senior officers.

The company in its correspondence with the authorities concerned backed the re-employment of its Chief Financial Officer Saleem Ahmad and Deputy Manager Operations Hassan Akhtar.

Responding to a report of the AG office that had declared the extension to re-employment contracts of the two officials unlawful/irregular, the company management wrote to the AG that being a separate legal entity the company’s board of directors had the powers conferred through Section 183 of the Companies Act 2017.

The company said the matter under consideration related to extension to the existing employment contract instead of re-employment of the retired government servant.

Furthermore, the board fixed the age of 65 years for PHFMC employees in its eighth meeting held on May 7, 2020.

“The incumbent under discussion was recruited from the private sector against the appointment’s advertisement mentioning that the maximum age should not be more than 65 years at the time of original making him eligible to work till the age of 68 years,” it claimed.

It said the issue of extension of contract of the CFO was placed before the board of directors meeting on Oct 15, 2020. After considering the CFO’s age in light of the observation raised by the representative of the health secretary and the company policy regarding the upper limit of employee age, the board approved the extension for three years.

The company concluded that the contract was extended according to their rules and regulations and that the para may be dropped.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2021

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