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National

May 9, 2018

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Audit report calls for removing three top PIA men

LAHORE: The government’s Commercial Audit Department has recommended immediate termination of three Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Chief System Officer of Pakistan International Airlines after observing a gross violation of rules in the appointment of these officials and salary packages being paid to them, The News has learnt.

According to the documents available with The News, the Audit Department observed that the Chief Operating Officer, Chief System Officer and Chief Executive Officer had been placed irregularly on their respective designations.

According to the audit report, Mr Zia Qadir Qureshi was appointed Chief Operating Officer on June 5, 2017, on contract at the consolidated salary of Rs1.5 million per month. He was appointed at the age of 59 years and nine months and three months before attaining the superannuation age in October 2017. The management extended the undue favour to the officer in his initial appointment and redeployment after the superannuation without submitting bi-annual performance reports against approved key performance indicators.

Mr Kashif Rehman was appointed Chief System Officer against the post which actually did not exist at the time of his appointment. Originally applications for the post of Director Information Technology were advertised for which the required qualification was PhD/MS in IT/Computer Science from a well- recognized local/ foreign university. But owing to lack of qualification of Kashif Rehman the position or post of Director Information Technology was changed to Chief System Officer (CSO) and the advertisement was published in newspapers on Nov 14, 2017, according to the qualification and experience of him. He was hired on contract for two years for the post which actually did not exist the organogram of Pakistan International Airlines.

Mr Kashif joined the airline on Dec 29, 2017, as CSO whereas the corporate job description for the post of CSO was made on Feb 15, 2018, almost 48 days after his joining the company. Furthermore, in a swift move, he was handed over the charge of Director Information Technology as the post was advertised in two English dailies before his appointment without meeting the criteria. To-date he has been paid Rs342, 608 in mobile/ telephone bills only without entitlement in addition to the exorbitant salary of Rs1.3 million per month.

Of his 83 days on the job, he has spent 46 days on visits and 47 days at the head office. His expenditure on total international and domestic visits is Rs1.628 million, the audit report mentions.

From the day of his appointment to-date, Mr Kashif Rehman has cost the Pakistani taxpayer over Rs6.5 million for his 83 days in service which means he was paid around Rs78,000 per day.

The audit report also identified the appointment of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Musharraf Rasool Cyan as irregular and in violation of rules. The report also accused him of misusing Rs160 million of PIACL resources.

The reports says that in violation of rules, he was preferred for job though he did not meet the experience and other conditions/criteria required for the advertised position. His appointment was also in violation of the SECP guideline. He was not only appointed for three years instead of two years but was also given a salary of Rs2 million as a special favour instead of M-1 grade salary. There was also a difference in birth dates in his CNIC and matriculation certificate. Different birth dates on certificates violate the PIA personnel policy manual. The board had not shortlisted Dr Musharraf Rasool Cyan for the job and he was not selected for next stage of selection process during initial interviews of job applicants. The presence of a government adviser during the job interview was also in violation of the PSC rules. And an independent agency should investigate the appointment. Salary, car and cost of used air tickets during the appointment should also be recovered.

When contacted, PIA Public Relations General Manager Mashhood Tajwar said that these audit observations had been received by the national carrier and a reply to these would be submitted as soon as possible. In the event of it being necessary, the matter could be referred to the Departmental Audit Committee.

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