Islamabad - Breaking the silence on ambiguous status of National Testing Service (NTS), the top official of agency on Thursday clarified it as a public sector entity while discouraged the commencement of other recruitment services.

NTS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Sherzada Khan held a media briefing at agency headquarters where he hinted that the recruitment services providing agency is being victimised and criticised by some sections deliberately to fail the service.

“NTS is a public sector non-profit entity working under ministry of Information and Technology (IT),” the CEO said.

Board of Governors (BoG) comprising ex-officials of a public sector IT university is the supreme body while, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is its regularity body, he said.

However, he said no budget is allocated for this public sector agency and it earns from the fees charged by candidates.

“Because NTS is a non-profit organisation so its profit is not invested in the pocket of single person while, 20 per cent of the profit is spent on infrastructure building of the organisation set-up,” he said.

According to the CEO, 11 other ‘private’ recruitment test conducting agencies are working but, NTS is working with the largest network providing services all across the country.

He differed with the launch of free of cost Higher Education Commission (HEC) testing service. “HEC is a monitoring body of higher education institutions while, NTS is ready to offer free of cost services if like HEC, amount is granted to the organisation,” he said.

According to him more than 500 public sector institutions including defence department hired the services of the agency.

“It is an autonomous body and arranges the tests asked by its client by winning the bid,” he said.

Dr Khan said that average fee by the candidate appearing in the test is charged according to facilities demanded by its client.

Replying to a query he admitted that the agency initially was launched as a project of public sector IT university but later it was also authorised by HEC to conduct tests in other universities.

“It is not a project of the university now and above than 80 per cent government departments ask NTS to conduct test,” he said.

He admitted that in the previous audit of the organisation conducted by government’s department irregularities were observed by auditing agency and SECP had initiated an inquiry on it. Replying to a question Dr Khan said, “NTS is ready to cooperate and to improve its working for the transparency and to remove flaws.” However, the audit report has not been made public yet.

“We are not at war with any organisation or department but, negative propaganda is being done deliberately to fail NTS,” he said.

Around 3,000 subject specialists are working at NTS responsible for test preparation and data review.

However, a number of times questions has been raised on quality of test prepared by recruiting agency.  “We provide best possible services and ensure secrecy of the test through its employees,” the CEO said.