As the hiring of independent directors for the boards of directors of 10 electricity distribution companies under the energy division of the Ministry of Energy continues, complaints have emerged alleging a shortage transparency in the process.
Up to five aspirants to independent director positions have written a request to Prime Minister Imran Khan, urging him to become aware of the alleged misconduct.
“Without any suitable and plausible criteria for screening candidates for merit … retired CEOs of electricity distribution companies and others were called in for online interviews while ignoring eligible, experienced and qualified candidates “, alleged the candidates, all belonging to Hyderabad and are retired professionals. “… This makes the whole exercise suspect and beyond all logic, justification and reasoning.”
The Ministry of Energy announced vacancies on November 24, 2019 for distribution companies based in Islamabad, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Gujranwala, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Sukkur and tribal areas. However, BoDs continued to hold positions well beyond their tenure – for more than a year in some of these companies, including Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, Quetta Electric Supply Company, Peshawar Electric Supply Company and Tribal Areas Electric Supply Company.
However, the directorships of the four aforementioned companies were originally advertised on May 26, 2019 and candidates who had applied following the initial advertisement were invited to reapply after the advertisement published in November 2019.
According to the announcements, candidates were to be experienced consultants, chartered accountants, cost management accountants, finance, human resources, risk management, public administration, engineering and related fields, corporate lawyers, representatives of industrial and agricultural organizations and successful candidates. businessmen. Professional experience of at least 15 years was also required. Interestingly, the initial announcement indicated that applicants enrolled in the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance would have preference, but the requirement was lifted in the announcement published later in November 2019.
In light of these requirements, the applicants wrote: “In order to ensure transparency, fairness and merit, the selection [of candidates] should have been assigned to a reliable management consulting firm responsible for hiring quality professionals.
They lamented that instead, departmental officials had started the hiring process.
“No board of directors made up of experts in engineering, human resources management, finance or company law has been set up to interview eligible candidates,” they argued. “Online interviews by non-professionals [officials] is just a formality to install former blue-eyed, incompetent, ineffective and ill-reputed officers [in the boards]. “
They further argue that the preference given to retired CEOs of the power companies who are allegedly responsible for the maladministration and failure of those companies apparently reflects the shifting priorities of the selectors. They urged the Prime Minister to stop the induction of influential but incompetent administrators, in collusion with their alleged patrons in the ministry, to prevent a further deterioration in the performance of electricity distribution companies. They also asked the PM to cancel the current appointments, to re-advertise the vacancies and to assign the hiring to any leading management consulting firm.
The number of directors in these energy distribution companies varies between eight and 10. Although, although some officials claim that the percentage of independent directors on boards of directors is believed to be higher than that of the members of office, the rule is rarely applied.
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