HYDERABAD: Sindh Accountant General (AG) has stopped the release of salaries for the month of December, 2018, of the contractual staff of the Provincial Ombudsman Sindh (POS). The AG office, through a letter addressed to the POS, has sought clarification regarding the payment of salaries to workers employed on contract.
The move follows an investigation initiated by the Sindh governor earlier in October, 2018. The governor had asked POS Asad Ashraf Malik to submit details of decade-long expenditures of his office, along with audit reports. Malik is currently in his third four-year term as the POS.
The AG's letter dated December 31, 2018, addressed to the POS sought details of the procedure of appointment of contractual staff and the process of advertising vacant posts, along with the terms and conditions of the employment. The POS will also have to submit a clarification from the Service General Administration and Coordination Department for the renewal of the contracts.
"The department [POS] has submitted the bills only with one justification that the bills may be processed under Section 20 of Establishment of the Office of Ombudsman for the Province of Sindh Act," the letter, written by the Assistant AG, states. "But the referred section only covers declaration of competent authority for hiring of employees in general without mentioning any other details."
According to an official of POS, who requested anonymity, as many as 242 regular and 228 contractual employees work in the office of POS across the province. He claimed that most contractual appointments have been made directly without following the procedure of advertisement of the vacant positions.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2019.
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