Bending rules?

Incompetent people occupying competent positions is what lies at the root of the malaise affecting our national life

May 30, 2021

In flagrant violation of rules, a chartered accountant had been working as the chief executive officer of a power generation company even though only a properly qualified engineer is meant to fill the said post. The Sindh High Court has ordered the removal of the officer in question. All rules and even the law of common sense were circumvented to pave the way for the appointment of an improperly qualified person. The facts of the case show that the CEO was first appointed in 2016. In the advertisement relating to the appointment, rules and regulations governing such appointments were bent, as the ad said that besides engineers, chartered accountants, masters of business administration and commerce too were eligible for appointment to the post.

The appointment was challenged by the Pakistan Engineering Council and others, as PEC rules prescribe the appointment of only a properly-qualified engineer to the post. The official in question was, however, reappointed to the same post in January 2018 through a federal government notification. With the exception of the said official, the post of CEO had always been filled by competent engineers, the petitioner’s counsel informed the court, and maintained that due to the chartered accountant’s obvious incompetence, two power generating units at GENCO-1V were closed down. In this connection, the court raised a pertinent question that since the CEO was a chartered accountant and had nothing to do with the discipline of engineering, it was difficult to say whether he knew the difference between a generator and a turbine. The court in its judgment said the then government functionaries should have realised the grave consequences of appointing a person whose discipline was not engineering to a position that required someone with an engineering qualification.

Incompetent people occupying competent positions is what lies at the root of the malaise affecting our national life. This scourge is visible in all spheres of life. This is one of the worst forms of corruption.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2021.

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