City managers on Wednesday conceded before a parliamentary panel that the service rules for appointment of senior officers in the civic agency are flawed and vague. However an official of the cabinet division assured the legislators that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is in the process of fixing these anomalies.
The parliamentary panel asked CDA officials to restructure rules for appointment of senior officials.
CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz conceded that current service rules were vague on the educational qualifications required for top posts.
Apart from debating the vague service rules, Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat also discussed the performance of the CDA’s Law Directorate, allotment of plots to officers on deputation in the CDA, and allotment of plots to non-awardees in Badia Qadir
Buksh — which was developed into Sector G-11.
Additional Cabinet Secretary Shahidullah Baig informed the legislators that CDA has also been to incorporate specific clauses elaborating on the educational qualifications required to fill these posts.
Baig was of the view that CDA service rules were flawed, as except for the administration member post, all other senior positions were technical and required the posting of officers with relevant educational qualifications.
He added the CDA had been asked to formulate and submit fresh service rules with the Cabinet Division for approval. He observed that currently, officers were appointed as CDA members on the basis of past experience rather than educational qualification. On that, the CDA chairman said the authority had started work on improving service rules in line with the Cabinet Division’s directions.
The legislators also placed all out support behind the city manager’s effort to amend the CDA Ordinance 1960 with the aim to shun unnecessary litigation on behalf of fake affected people of land acquisition.
The legislators extended their support after CDA Estate Member Shaista Sohail informed the committee that the CDA Ordinance provides for over five years, which triggers baseless litigation by self-proclaimed affected people.
The committee also discussed recent plots allotment to over 100 officers and officials of the authority and the subsequent cancellation of allotments by the CDA chief.
CDA Chairman Tahir Shahbaz said he had directed a committee to frame a clear policy to ascertain the criteria and length of service of officers for allotment of residential plots. A committee is working on a plot allotment policy, but the chairman did say that under the new rules, officers on deputation in the CDA are no longer entitled to residential plots.
“Since the committee had begun working on the policy, some officers tacitly managed to issue allotment letters for plots in their names. But I cancelled all such offer letters,” Shahbaz said.
He said a three-man committee headed by the CDA Environment member was probing the issuance of allotment letters.
Shahbaz said that recently, two different lower courts decreed against that decision. “One court served a contempt notice on me for issuing those allotment letters, while the other directed the CDA to allot the plots to those officials.”
The chairman said he had directed the CDA Law Directorate to file an application with the Islamabad High Court to get their input on the current situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2013.