ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned top management of Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) - a state-owned oil and gas exploration firm - in an attempt to investigate alleged questionable appointments on key posts.
According to documents available with The Express Tribune, NAB investigation will continue for two days, starting Tuesday.
NAB has summoned OGDC board member and human resources (HR) committee chairperson Sadia Khan on Tuesday to ask questions about appointments in the company made by the current board of directors.
Board members Saud Khawaja, Akbar Ayub Khan and Managing Director Dr Naseem have been summoned on Wednesday. Executive Director HR Shoaib Baig, whose appointment is being investigated, will also appear before NAB.
Earlier, OGDC made appointments on two important slots of executive director Petroserve and executive director HR. Initially, NAB had started inquiry into these appointments and sought record from the company.
OGDC board had made certain changes in 2015 in the qualification criterion of executive director, general manager and manager-level positions. For the post of executive director, the experience requirement was slashed from 26 years to 18 years whereas for the general manager post the experience requirement was revised from 24 years to 16 years.
For the position of manager, the experience period was reduced to 14 years from 20 years.
OGDC board members were placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) following these changes as NAB argued that the company board had no authority and mandate to make such changes in the experience requirement for the slot of executive director.
The current executive director Petroserve has worked only with service-providing companies, though the earlier advertisement had clearly mentioned that only those candidates could apply who had six-year experience of working in exploration and production companies at the top management level.
The company re-advertised the post on June 30, 2019 and removed the condition of six-year work experience in an exploration and production company at the top management level.
NAB has sought a complete list of applications received for posts of executive director Petroserve and executive director HR along with a chart showing their qualifications, experience, etc.
Responding to queries, an OGDC spokesperson stressed that Shoaib Baig had been appointed executive director HR through a competitive process on the basis of his qualification, experience and competency.
“There is absolutely no question of extending any preferential treatment on the basis of someone’s social or political inclination. Baig was interviewed and evaluated purely as an HR professional,” he said.
About the appointment of executive director Petroserve, the spokesperson said he had been appointed in line with the required criteria and process. “He has experience of working in the industry and holds relevant qualification,” he said.
“The appointment was made once the board was satisfied that a suitable internal candidate was not available and the best course was to advertise the position and attract requisite talent from the market.”
The spokesperson emphasised that OGDC was extending full and complete assistance to NAB, however, further comment in that regard could not be given because of the ongoing proceedings.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2019.
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