PAC chief wants action against assembly secretariat staff
ISLAMABAD: The chairman of Public Accounts Committee of National Assembly has complained to Speaker Fehmida Mirza against his own secretariat for what he says ignoring official work which has led to delay in the implementation of PAC’s recommendations and finalisation of reports.
Sources privy to a letter in which PAC chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal has criticised his staff told Dawn that he wanted action against the NA secretariat staff looking after his office for sheer negligence in discharge of their official duties.
Mr Gondal, when contacted, confirmed that he had written to the speaker but refused to comment on the contents of the letter. He, however, said: “I have expressed my concerns with the speaker, and hope for their timely hearing.” The sources said the PAC chairman had in particular expressed serious reservations about his staff headed by Additional Secretary Qamar Sohail Lodhi for not passing on to the prime minister one of the committee’s well-published recommendations against the policy of allotment of two plots to federal secretaries. The PAC after months of deliberations in December last had unanimously passed recommendations against this policy.
The sources said Mr Lodhi was allegedly dragging his feet on this particular recommendation because of pressure from outside. Mr Gondal also put the blame on his staff for delaying finalisation of PAC’s reports for the years 2005-2006 and 2006-2007, which the committee had already completed after due scrutiny.
Mr Gondal, according to the sources, was not happy with Mr Lodhi for not supporting him against the Supreme Court’s registrar. The committee repeatedly called the registrar for hearing but he refused.
After the PAC insisted with its right to summon the registrar, the apex court issued last month a stay order against the appearing of the registrar.
In a counter move, the PAC chief through a report earlier this month sought intervention of the National Assembly for the implementation of his notice, seeking appearance of the registrar.
Sources in the National Assembly said Mr Gondal was not happy with Mr Lodhi’s stance in support of the SC registrar.
Mr Lodhi, a former senior civil judge, was in the National Assembly on deputation in 2009 when the SC came up with its judicial policy barring judicial officers from serving in other departments. As a result, Mr Lodhi was removed from his position. But to the surprise of many in the National Assembly, Mr Lodhi last year not only managed to get back his deputation but also absorption in the National Assembly as its permanent staff member.
Knowing that the PAC is left with only three weeks to go, Mr Lodhi has started ignoring its orders, said an official of the NA secretariat.