ISLAMABAD - Dozens of posts of grade 17 and above are lying vacant in the Policy Wing of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources for the last five years, it is learnt reliably here.

The vacant posts are being filled with the employees of the companies which can endanger the secrecy of the policy making body, an official source told The Nation here yesterday.

The official said that no new appointments have been made against the vacant posts in the Policy Wing since 2010. The Wing includes Directorate General Oil, Directorate General Petroleum Concession (DGPC), Directorate General Gas, and Director General Administration. A total of 25 posts of high officials are lying vacant from the past five years and majority of them are being filled by the employees of the companies on attachments, the source said. The companies from where the employees are being posted, in the Policy Wing, include Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL),Sui Southern Gas Company(SSGC),Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited(SNGPL) and Interstate Gas system.

Only in the Directorate General Gas 10 posts are lying vacant they include four Assistant Directors, four Deputy Directors and two Directors, the source said. He said about 11 employees from SNGPL and SSGC are working in the Directorate General Gas that some are working on lower ranks. Besides there is no permanent Director General gas, as the government has deferred the appointment of permanent head for the time being, the source said.

Similarly in the Directorate General Oil six posts of grade 17 and above are lying vacant which include Director Marketing, Director Audit, Deputy Director Coordination, Deputy Director Technical, and two Assistant Directors technical. Besides, there is no permanent Director General since 2014. Employees from Interstate Company are working on attachments on majority vacant posts, the source said.

The source said that in the Director General Petroleum Concessions about seven posts while in Director General Administration two post are lying vacant. Besides a total of six posts are vacant in grade 16.

The employees of the companies and corporations don’t know about the government policies as they are used to work on short term corporate policies, the source said. He alleged the government policies are being made for decades but the employees in corporation don’t have the experiences of making long term plans. “You cannot make any oil and gas policy in secrecy in the presence of the representatives of the companies setting in the Policy Wing,” the source said. Beside secrecy dedication is another issue with these temporary posted employees as they are not dedicated to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources.

Since these officials are working on attachment basis, in the Policy Wing, therefore they take high salaries from their respective corporations and companies. These officials are working in easy environment with full enjoyment of the amenities available to the government officials, the source added.

When the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources was contacted for the official version, it was informed that the posts are lying vacant from the time of previous government. Since there was ban on new appointments for the past two years of the present government therefore the ministry was not able to fill vacancies in the Wing, an official of the ministry told on the condition of anonymity as he was not officially allowed to talk to media.

However, the official informed that the government has started recruitment for the vacant posts and in the first phase, starting this week, they will hire five employees through Federal Public Services commission. In the next phase they will appoint another five employees for the Policy Wing, the official disclosed.

The official also ruled out any secrecy breach by companies’ employees, saying they are fully dedicated and experts in their work.