New appointment: PM promotes friend, props up chances of top auditor’s post

Published: August 3, 2011

Gilani’s press secretary refuses to confirm or deny reports of Rana’s promotion.

ISLAMABAD: 

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has promoted his family friend Buland Akhtar Rana to grade-22 so that he may qualify for appointment as the auditor-general of Pakistan.

Former auditor-general Tanvir Ali Agha had recently resigned amid a controversy on whether he can continue to hold office for another four months. President Asif Ali Zardari appointed Aneece Marghub as acting auditor-general.

A high-powered promotion board approved Rana’s promotion, who also hails from Multan. Gilani chaired the meeting at the PM house which also approved promotions for seven other senior bureaucrats.

Officials familiar with the development told The Express Tribune that the government is all set to appoint Rana as the new auditor-general. He was serving as the acting secretary of the Human Rights Division and until last year, he worked as the deputy auditor-general as well. “There was a legal bar on Rana, so he had to be first promoted to grade 22 to qualify for the post,” said a senior official of the establishment division, on condition of anonymity. He has faced serious allegations of sexual harassment, court proceedings as well as departmental inquiries, the source said.

Officials working with Rana said that he is affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party and is a close friend of Ghulam Mujtaba Gilani, the prime minister’s younger brother. They said that the president’s decision to appoint an interim auditor-general kicked off the race for the lucrative post. The three candidates competing for the prestigious post, including Rana, are former establishment secretary Abdul Rauf Chaudhry and Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue Salman Siddique. Officials also said that Zahid Saeed, the military accountant-general, coveted the post of the auditor-general. He did his best to manoeuvre for the appointment and to defame Rana when both were working as deputy auditors-general last year, they said. Rana is now eligible for this post because he is the senior officer in the audit department, according to sources.

Controversy over Agha’s premature departure

Officials said that Agha was forced to leave office prematurely due to multiple factors. These factors include upcoming audit reports on multi-billion-rupee scams namely the National Insurance Company Limited scandal, the Hajj scandal and the auditor-general’s liaison with the Public Accounts Committee that embarrassed the government on many occasions.

Legal position

Agha was sworn in as the 16th auditor-general for five years on July 20, 2007. According to the Constitution, he could remain in office for five years or until he attained 65 years of age. His five-year term would have ended in July 2012 but on November 14 this year he will turn 65.

Meanwhile, Saeed has denied that he was manoeuvring for the slot. “I’m no longer with the auditor-general, so how can I covet the slot?” he said.

A senior official, who attended Tuesday’s board meeting revealed that Rana’s posting has been recommended by the PM. This summary will be moved to the finance ministry, which is supposed to send it to the president who will act on the advice of the prime minister, he said.

The PM’s press secretary Muhammad Akram Shaheedi has neither confirmed nor denied the recent development saying, “Rana was promoted to grade-22 but no further notification has been issued so far for further posting.” To a query pertaining to Rana’s posting as the auditor-general, he said there is speculation but no official order has been issued.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Aug 3, 2011 - 11:28AM

    The same crowd of people still in line for the AID CASH from China USA and their own People.
    Where is there a wink of truth and honesty left on this Planet, cause there is no intelligent life on this Planet left !
    Yes I still remain an honest self, can you say that? will you try………Recommend

  • Aug 3, 2011 - 11:29AM

    I think India can do a better job,

    Recommend

  • Karim
    Aug 3, 2011 - 12:16PM

    what a pity.

    Recommend

  • Arsalan khan
    Aug 3, 2011 - 1:21PM

    Akhtar bland Rama is a Canadian citizen who has taken oath to be faithful with the queen

    He is involved in criminal activities. He has three passports and two ID cards. Ministry of interior has written a letter about this to Nadra. iSI has also conveyed a negative report about this gentleman.

    What an AuditorGeneral for this country!

    Recommend

  • SK
    Aug 3, 2011 - 3:13PM

    you scratch my back and I do yours

    Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Aug 3, 2011 - 3:23PM

    Unsurprising.

    Recommend

  • Ben
    Aug 3, 2011 - 6:21PM

    @Arsalan khan. Who is better qualified to be AGP of this regime?

    Recommend

  • ZUBAIR
    Aug 3, 2011 - 6:54PM

    “Serious allegations of sexual harassment, court proceedings as well as departmental inquiries”.. CJ says very rightly that the most tainted get the most important key posts here..Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Aug 3, 2011 - 9:00PM

    What a shame……………………..

    A very good example of hopelessly bad governance

    Recommend

  • basharat
    Aug 4, 2011 - 4:44AM

    Is friendship with the Prime Minister and domicile of Multan, a disqualification for further promotion of a bureaucrat. If he fulfills the conditions, no one, in my opinion, should have any objection.

    Recommend

  • M.H. Daniyal
    Aug 8, 2011 - 3:07PM

    What a pity, why Mr. Zahid saeed is being involved in this intrigue? He is very honest and nice personaity. He served in Audit Department with great honesty and has efficacy. He acts as Rules and Regulations framed by the Government of Pakistan Since it is a matter of promotion of Mr. Rana Buland Akhtar not Mr.Zahid Saeed. The preparation of working paper for promotion is prepared by the Establishment Division not Mr. Zahid Saeed and reality is preserved in the promotion file of the officer which is analyized. The post of the Auditor General of Pakistan is very prestigues and its requirment demands very high integrity and calibre personality. Decision on this issue should be very crystle as it is a matter of Pakistan reverence not Mr. Rana Buland Akthar.

    Recommend

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