When Noorul Amin Mengal, the new district coordination officer, assumed charge on Tuesday he became the second successive officer to be appointed to the post in violation of rules.
The appointment of Mengal as DCO violates Section 28 of the Local Government Ordinance 2001. The section reads, “In every district, the government shall appoint a DCO who shall be a civil servant of the federation or of the province, as far as possible in BS-20. In a city district government, the DCO may be a civil servant in BS-21.
Ahad Cheema, whom Mengal has replaced, had taken charge in October 2010. A BS-18 district management group (DMG) officer, Cheema took over from Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta, a BS-20 officer. Cheema has now been posted as the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general.
Mengal, who has a Balochsitan domicile, was a special secretary to the chief minister before he was assigned the new portfolio.
Rai Manzoor Ahmed Nasir, the Provincial Management Services Association president, condemned the violation. This is not good governance, he said, adding that a number of eligible DMG and PCS officers were awaiting posting. Nasir called the posting of a junior officer “ridiculous”.
Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, the PML-N spokesperson, said that it was the chief minister’s prerogative to appoint an officer he deemed competent. The relevant question is not whether the officer is senior or junior, he said, but whether or not he is competent and has been performing well.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 21st, 2012.