Verbal directive: CDA officials ordered to keep mum

Spokesperson only staffer authorised to talk to media.


Our Correspondent July 12, 2013
The chairman’s office has conveyed that no officer was allowed to communicate with media persons except for the public relations officer. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:


The new chief of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has opted to muzzle his subordinates in an attempt to clamp down on exposes in the media that reveal irregularities and multi-million scams that seem to have become a regular feature in the civic agency. The higher judiciary has taken notice of several of these irregularities.


The authority has barred senior officers especially board members from interacting with media persons. A circular has not been issued yet but director staff to the CDA chairman has asked board members not to talk with media persons.



One of the board members confirmed the move, requesting anonymity. The chairman’s office has conveyed that no officer was allowed to communicate with media persons except for the public relations officer.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, CDA spokesperson Asia Gul said CDA has designated an officer to provide information and to interact with the media. “Information over technical issues is provided to media persons after consulting relevant officials. I’m unaware of any verbal orders but this is a matter of discipline and practised in government departments,” Gul said.

A senior officer said the order was typical of officers who had served in the Punjab government. “Hiding information from the media and threatening officers in case they interact with the media is a favourite tactic of such officers,” the officer added.



Nowadays, the new CDA chairman is endeavouring to keep a tab on officials. A recent circular reads, “All officials shall keep their cell phones on round the clock, so that necessary feedback may be obtained and directions may be disseminated.” It further says, the officers are directed to adhere to the instructions otherwise strict action shall be taken in case of violation.

The chairman CDA holds official meetings in early in the morning to make officers to become punctual. Gul said a number of CDA officials used to come late to the office and these steps were taken to enforce discipline.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013.

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