Pakistan News

KP assembly speaker strips assembly secretary of powers

KP assembly speaker strips assembly secretary of powers

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar has stripped the assembly secretary of his administrative and financial powers in a spat over recruitments and other issues.

In a hasty move, the speaker immediately created a parallel office of secretary by upgrading the post of additional secretary and handed him over all financial and administrative powers enjoyed by the secretary.

Sources said the secretary had refused to create certain posts and appoint an assistant, who didn’t apply for the said position, which led to the tug of war between the speaker and secretary.

A notification was issued by the speaker’s office stating: “in anticipation of approval by the relevant finance committee, the speaker is pleased to upgrade and re-designate the post held by Nasrullah Khan Khattak, additional secretary (administration), from BPS-19 to the post of secretary (administration, finance, and accounts) in BPS-20 and is promoted against the said post.”

In line with the notification, the secretary will look after matters related to legislation and meetings of the public accounts committee although the secretary has been declared the principal accounting officer of the assembly’s secretariat.

Official sources said contrary to Rule 4 of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province Provincial Assembly Secretariat (Recruitment) Rules, 1974, the speaker had not received the assent of the relevant finance committee for introducing the new secretary post.

Sources said serious difference persisted between the speaker and Assembly’s secretary Amanullah Khan for quite some time over certain issues related to fresh recruitments and finances of the assembly.

They said in the past, the secretary had twice asked for long leave insisting he could not work under the existing environment.

In one of the communications, which took place between the speaker and the secretary, the former said: “I, the undersigned being the authority, have strong reservations on the official business, especially the administrative and financial matters of the assembly secretariat, as on a number of occasions, whenever, I asked for some urgent nature administrative and financial arrangements in the public interests, my orders were not compiled for.

“As a result, the secretariat was put in an embarrassing situation. I feel the secretary, in addition to his primary duty of legislation, attending the assembly sessions, meetings of PAC and other standing committees, has also to deal with files on administrative and financial matters, which has put extra burden on him.”

Interestingly, the speaker’s correspondence didn’t specify any order allegedly not complied with and impliedly the powers of the secretary being illegally interfered, unfairly and unjustly curtailed.

“If any order was not implemented, there might be some legal justification and the same might have been brought to the notice of the authority, as was done in the creation of the post of assistant transport officer and induction of Baqar Sardar of Swabi and the recent filling of one post of assistant,” said an official while replying to the speaker’s charges.

Sources said the process to fill the post of the assistant was conducted in a transparent manner but it was cancelled as a resident of Swabi, Uzair, who did not apply for the post, was not placed in the merit list.

Sources said Secretary Amanullah had also turned down a proposal to create from 15 to 20 posts of various categories during the local body elections campaign in light of the Supreme Court orders.

An official of the assembly said under Rule 3 of the recruitment rules, there should be a secretariat headed by the secretary.

He said there was no room in the rules for the post of another secretary and that for creating

the same or upgrading another post to that level, the rules had to be amended for which the approval of the governor was required.

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2015

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