Commission set up to select heads of govt enterprises


The government on Wednesday set up a three-member commission, headed by the federal tax ombudsman (FTO), for selection of chief executive officers (CEOs) of state-owned enterprises.

According to the Prime Minister Office, the decision to constitute the commission has been made in line with Supreme Court directives to make such appointments only on the basis of merit.

Newly appointed FTO Abdul Rauf Chaudhry will head the commission. Shams Qasim Lakha, head of the Aga Khan Foundation and well-known educationist, and Dr Ijaz Nabi, a professor of administrative sciences at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, will be its members.

The commission will operate free of government influence and will be provided administrative support by the establishment division.

The government has issued advertisements for vacant positions in about 40 enterprises, including the PIA, PSO, Pakistan Steel Mills, Wapda, PPL and OGDC.

To help the commission, a senior official at the Prime Minister Office said, the government was going to hire the services of a human resource firm of international repute and had placed an advertisement in international media for the purpose.

The secretaries of finance and law ministries and cabinet division will select the HR firm in a day or two. It will help the commission in short-listing candidates. Final interviews will be conducted by the commission.

Talking to Dawn, a federal secretary praised the establishment of the commission ‘if the government implements the plan in its true spirit’.

Besides selecting right people for the right job, the commission will help the government to keep hangers-on away from the corridors of power. A positive thing about the commission is that its members are from private sector and have good reputation.

One of the major allegations the previous PPP government is facing is the appointment of people like former Ogra chief Tauqeer Sadiq at key positions on the basis of nepotism.

“On the face of it, the selection of CEOs through an independent commission and with the help of an international HR firm sounds perfect (idea) but, let’s see how it plays out on ground,” said the secretary.

In response to a petition filed by Khawaja Asif of the PML-N against postings and transfers made by the caretaker government, Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had said on May 22: “The new government should know well that appointments of choice and against the norms of merit will not be allowed. Doctrine of merit will stand implemented for the sake of good governance and the discretionary powers will also have to be exercised in the light of verdicts of the court.

“It (the government) will have to maintain the highest standard of transparency and bring to end the culture of likes and dislikes,” he said.