ISLAMABAD: No sooner had the federal cabinet announced to lift the ban on government jobs, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) started receiving enquiries about recruitment from the public as well as politicians.
CDA officials seem perturbed by the ‘plethora’ of requests they receive every day. “The officers are receiving calls from politicians and members of the general public inquiring about the timeframe for recruitment,” said a senior official of the authority who believed instead of new recruitments, the civic agency needs to rationalise the existing work force.
The civic agency, the officer said, has previously served as a recruitment bureau for political bosses who inducted hundreds of employees without considering its impact on authority’s already fragile financial situation. And many of those who were recruited, he said, had been treating the authority and their positions as a money-making enterprise.
“We need job rationalisation rather than new appointments,” he commented.
However, CDA spokesperson Asim Khichi said prior to advertising vacant positions in the press, a general assessment of these vacancies would be carried out to avoid unnecessary recruitments.
Khichi said the authority had been considering to fill essential seats currently lying vacant but only after going through the mandatory screening of candidates. “Most probably, CDA will engage the National Testing Service to conduct the tests,” he said, adding that the civic agency will ensure the recruitment process is transparent and not influenced by anybody.
Earlier, a three-member judicial commission formed by the Islamabad High Court to investigate allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the CDA had also found several grave violations of rules and procedures in the appointment of hundreds of people in the authority during the Pakistan People’s Party-led government’s tenure.
The commission had recommended that the CDA constitute a committee of senior officers headed by the chairman to scrutinise all appointments and remove ineligible persons and those hired on inflated salaries. The commission also suggested disciplinary action against officials who approved the illegal appointments. But the authority has yet to act in accordance with these directions.
The commission’s report stated that since 2008, around 1,776 regular appointments were made in CDA, while another 270 people were hired on contract and 2,701 on daily-wage basis.
Over 250,000 had applied for jobs in the CDA against 1,000-odd vacant posts in Basic Pay Scale-1 through 19 last year.
According to the CDA human resource directorate, 1,089 vacancies were advertised in May 2013, during the tenure of the caretaker government. It received some 200,000 applications for 928 posts of grades 1-14, while around 50,000 candidates had applied for 161 posts in grades 16-19.
There are currently 18,635 sanctioned posts in the CDA, only 13,586 of which are occupied. Another 2,104 daily wagers and 306 contract employees are also among the agency’s staff.
Recruitment plans were dropped after the PML-N government banned new recruitment in all federal government departments after it came to power in 2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2014.
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