The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has decided to hire the services of a well-reputed consultancy firm to conduct a performance audit of its troubled Human Resource Department.
The authority has already invited technical and financial proposals from international consultants and chartered accountancy firms to carry out the assessment.
“The performance audit will focus on economy, efficiency, accountability and transparency in the human resource department with emphasis on the importance of internal controls and checks and balances such as monitoring, a review of current practices, policies, and procedures,” stated an advertisement released by the CDA.
The issue of thousands of irregular political appointments in the CDA during the two previous regimes is one of the primary reasons behind the decline in the performance of the human resource department, according to a senior official who served with the CDA for over three years on deputation.
“During the tenure of Faisal Saleh Hayat as interior minister, hundreds of direct appointments were made. Those people are now holding senior positions such as directors and deputy directors but they have little-to-no-idea on how to get the job done,” another senior official said, adding that all the important posts cannot be filled with officers on deputation.
However, he said one cannot blame the officers alone as there is no capacity building programme or a training academy at the CDA.
“I still remember the days when officers of other government departments used to attend the CDA Training Academy. But over a period of time, it lost its charm and today there is no such facility to enhance the capacity of our officers,” he added.
Similarly, irregular up-gradation of various low-cadre posts at the behest of the CDA labour union also marred the affairs of the Authority.
Talking to The Express Tribune, a CDA board member wishing anonymity said it was not the first time the authority planned to conduct a performance audit of its HR department.
“Every time a reform-oriented and pro-active officer assumes the office of chairman, he strives to streamline human resource issues. During the tenure of Kamran Lashari, an effort was made to engage an international firm for the HR audit, but it never materialised,” said the board member, adding that even previous chairman Tahir Shahbaz announced a comprehensive HR policy but it never saw the light of day during his eight-month tenure.
The audit will help city managers with decision-making in the future,” commented a senior official.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.