To PM Imran’s dismay, top posts still vacant in state units

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed dismay over failure of different ministries and divisions to meet the deadline for appointing heads of 135 organisations and departments, which are still being run on an ad hoc basis for more than a year.

In July this year, PM Imran had set a three-month deadline for appointing heads of state organisations and departments, which has also passed. The premier has now told the implementation committee to monitor the issue and facilitate the appointments.

According to a report prepared by the Establishment Division, 135 organisations and departments of 27 ministries have no heads and they are being run on an ad hoc basis.

The Establishment Division said out of the 135 departments, 14 were close to filling the vacant posts whereas in the case of another 14, they had been recommended for merger, liquidation, restructuring or privatisation and the appointment of full-time heads of these organisations was not advisable.

While analysing the cases of hiring, the Establishment Division requested all the ministries and divisions to fill the vacant posts at the earliest in light of a decision of the cabinet instead of resorting to any stop-gap arrangement.

The Establishment Division submitted its report in a recent meeting of the cabinet, chaired by PM Imran.

During discussions, some cabinet members pointed out that their efforts to bring quality human resources had been frustrated by the compensation packages in place for senior-level positions in government departments.

It was suggested that the compensation packages should be reviewed to make them attractive for good-quality professionals in order to fill the posts in different organisations and departments.

PM Imran expressed dismay over the ad hoc manner in which a large number of organisations were being managed and gave directives that immediate steps should be taken to improve governance and efficiency in the ministries and divisions.

The cabinet decided that the ministries and divisions would prepare and submit action plans indicating the minimum possible timeline for filling the vacant positions of chief executive officers (CEOs) and managing directors (MDs). The cabinet asked them to draw up the action plan within one week.

It was agreed that in cases where amendments and changes to rules, regulations and terms and conditions were required to fill a certain position, the matter may be submitted to the implementation committee for reorganisation within one week.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 24th, 2019.