The Finance Department has asked the Planning and Development Board to rehire a consultant for another year in violation of the Consultant Hiring Policy of 2006, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Muhammad Zubair, who retired as chief treasury inspector, was appointed for one year in July 2012 to come up with reforms for district accounts offices, devise inspection modules, revisit treasury rules and improve financial rules. Now without an analysis of how he has performed on the job, the Finance Department has sent a PC-II to the Planning and Development Board recommending that he be rehired for a year, an official privy to the development told The Express Tribune.
The official claimed that Zubair was a friend of certain senior officials and had been hired at a handsome salary with various perks. He said that the advertisement for the job had been drawn up in such a way as to make him the ideal candidate. It asked for a person under the age of 62 (Zubair was 61 at the time) who had 20 years of experience in dealing with treasury matters. Zubair was formerly chief treasury inspector at the Finance Department. He was selected after around a dozen candidates were short-listed.
Though his contract expired on June 30, Zubair continued to go to his office at the Finance Department and use subordinate staff, the official said. The Consultant Hiring Policy of 2006 issued by the Planning and Development Board states that a consultant must be hired from the open market for a specific task after inviting applications through advertisements. But the Finance Department has asked that his contract be extended for another year, rather than conduct a recruitment process, he said.
Zubair confirmed that the Finance Department had sent a proposal to the Planning and Development Board. He said that he was attending the office in an informal capacity. About his performance, he said he had completed some of the tasks he was set, while others were in the pipeline.
A senior Finance Department official said it was up to the Planning and Development Board to approve or reject the proposal. A Board official said that the request had been received and the Consultant Hiring Committee would take it up.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2013.