PESHAWAR: An inquiry committee formed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on the directives of Supreme Court has found irregularities in the appointment of Hospital Director of Khyber Teaching Hospital .
The committee noted that the appointment was illegal as nepotism and favouritism were committed in the selection process. The Board of Governors (BoGs) committed contempt of court as it did not take notice of the alleged irregularities found by the inquiry committee.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken notice of various human rights violation cases in the Medical and Teaching Institutions (MTIs) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He had ordered an inquiry to probe alleged irregularities committed in key appointments in these institutions.
The chief secretary had formed the committee. Its members included special secretary health, additional secretary finance, additional secretary establishment and chief executive officer of Post-Graduate Medical Institute (PGMI). The inquiry committee noted that the hiring process of hospital director KTH was made in violation of merit.
“Irregularities, nepotism and favouritism have been committed in the selection process of Hospital Director KTH. By appointing an inexperienced officer, some potential candidates having higher qualification and more experience were left out,” the committee mentioned in its report, the copy of which is available with The News. It said the evaluation criteria used for interview was absolutely irrational and illogical.
The committee said that instead of arranging proper evaluation of academic qualification and experience of each candidate, award of marks were left to the whims and wishes of selection committee.
“Ironically, the selection committee awarded no marks to candidate’s academic qualification, experience and other credentials as the merit list does not show any marks allocated to qualification and experience. It appears that total 100 marks were allocated to interview and accommodate unqualified candidates,” the committee underlined. It stated that one of the important documents of any appointment process was the final merit list.
According to the report, the merit list shared by the KTH management with the inquiry committee was hand-written and that too without the signatures of the selection committee members which cannot be accepted as authentic document.
The committee said the KTH administration failed to share the document showing approval of selection criteria from the relevant forum. “The incumbent Hospital Director has served against administrative and management positions for negligible period during his entire service. He should not have been shortlisted in the first place,” said the inquiry committee.
It said the incumbent hospital director was a civil servant but did not resign from his civil service post upon his selection in MTI required as per the instruction of the Health Department. A civil servant applying to a post in an autonomous body through open competition shall get non-objection certificate (NOC) from the employer under the West Pakistan (Application for post rules), 1957.
As per available record, he was neither granted the NOC by the Health Department nor resigned from his post in light of Health Department’s instructions. The inquiry report found that the selection committee was incomplete.
The evaluation sheet used for interview was confusing and misleading as rating was made in respect of education, training, professional qualification and experience through an interview rather than detailed scrutiny of academic qualification and experience of each candidate. It mentioned that only the list showing summary of shortlisted candidates was available along with final evaluation sheet. “None of the documents i.e. academic record, experience certificate has been verified from concerned organisations which is a pre-requisite of selection process. If seven years was mandatory then only over and above the required experience should have been given weightage as provided in general rules pertaining to recruitments in public sector and public sector autonomous bodies,” the committee noted.
The committee said that as a standard practice for selection process, usually a bench mark of 100 was taken with further distribution among academic qualifications, higher, additional qualification, relevant experience, distinction and professional training/courses where applicable.