ISLAMABAD: A number of violations of rules in promotion of officers of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) have been detected by an inquiry conducted by the Ministry of National Health Services on the orders of the prime minister.
The inquiry also recommended that the promoted officers should be reverted to their previous pay scales.
It also recommended that the rules of Drap Employees Service Regulations should be framed and sent to the Establishment Division for evaluation and authentication.
The report also recommended appointing a permanent Drap Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and 13 directors as currently the posts are lying vacant.
On the other hand, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also started investigation into irregularities in promotions and summoned the Drap acting head.
According to the inquiry report, available with Dawn, the Prime Minister Office sent a complaint to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on March 26 last year and directed to look into irregularities in promotions.
Later, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also sent a similar complaint.
Based on the direction, a three-member inquiry committee was formed with the approval of the Secretary NHS. The committee, headed by Joint Secretary Mohammad Saeedullah Khan Niazi, and two Deputy Secretaries as members, visited Drap office and met the officials concerned and later held a number of hearings.
Conclusion and recommendation of the report states that the acting Drap chief executive officer Asim Rauf and two other officers Dr Mohammad Fakharuddin Aamir and Dr Obaidullah were illegally promoted from the post of deputy directors to post of additional directors. During promotions they concealed the facts about their eligibility.
Report states that assigning look after charge of the post of the Drap CEO with immediate effect and until further orders, without approval of the Federal Govt, was violation and contra legem of Drap Act, 2012. On the other hand assigning the current or additional charge of the posts of Directors to Additional Directors by CEO was palpable desecration of Drap Act.
It has been suggested that the appointment of regular CEO Drap will put Drap on track and process is required to be initiated as per directions of Prime Minister’s Office.
The committee has suggested that forensic investigation and examination be carried out on the short video clip received by the complainant.
Moreover, harmonisation and synchronisation between civil servants and Drap employees would avoid unnecessary litigation.
The report has recommended that the Secretary NHS may review and disapprove the recommendations made by Departmental Selection Board (DSB), headed by CEO Drap, in its meeting held on June 14, 2016 wherein there officers were recommended for promotion without meeting eligibility criteria and even in absence of recruitment and promotion rules may also be withdrawn ab-initio.
Similarly, ante-fated promotion granted to CEO may be declared illegal having no prudence and lawful cover and officer order of acting charge of CEO may be withdrawn.
It is also recommended that the degree of Ex-Consultant Drap Syed Sultan Ghani may be verified from Higher Education Commission.
Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2021