ISLAMABAD: The appointment of the head of the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) has been challenged by at least one top official within the company on the grounds that set regulations and protocols were breached in the selection process.
Bisharat Mirza, who currently serves as the executive director of OGDC, and who has also served as the acting head of the company, has levelled these allegations in a letter sent to the company chairman and the directors of the OGDC board.
According to the letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, Mirza said that the company had deviated from its approved recruitment policy by appointing the present managing director (MD) through a consultant, whose appointment by itself is questionable. Mirza claimed in his letter that the appointment of a head-hunter is not in line with Public Procurement Regulatory Authority rules. He also claimed that the current MD does not meet the threshold for the appropriate age for recruitment to the MD’s post.
The minimum required age of a candidate for the position of the OGDC MD is 55 years, according to the Uniform Recruitment and Promotion Policy approved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources. “But incumbent MD Masood Siddiqui, who joined the company on June 18, 2012, is only 49 years old,” Mirza pointed out; warning that if some interested party knocks at the doors of the court, it will be difficult for the company to defend Siddiqui’s appointment.
Mirza also went on to say that such inconsistencies are not in line with principles of good governance, nor were they legally tenable; particularly in a public sector enterprise wherein 85% of the paid-up capital is taxpayers’ contribution, and whose profits contribute to the national exchequer.
When contacted, the OGDC MD said that “politics was being played in the company” and that “I do not want to be involved in this game.” However, he refused to comment on whether his appointment was in line with the law and laid down procedures or not.
Petroleum Secretary Dr Waqar Masood said that the OGDC MD was a qualified person and had wide experience in petroleum engineering.
He said that a committee had interviewed him for his appointment, adding that he was doing a good job in the company.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 27th, 2012.
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