ISLAMABAD   -     Ministry of National Health Services has failed in filling around one dozen senior posts in Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) since establishment of the department, which is largely being run on look after basis, The Nation learnt on Thursday.Around one dozen regular senior posts of the Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) including of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) are vacant since the department was established.As per the documents available with The Nation and as per DRAP Act of 2012 thirteen regular directors were to be appointed on the posts by the federal government.

However, only two posts are filled with BPS-20 officers. The posts filled by regular directors include costing and pricing and the post of director biological evaluation and research. The documents said rest of 12 positions are vacant since 2012 and Ministry of National Health Services is running the department on giving additional and look after charges to other officers. The ministry had appointment regular CEO Sheikh Akhtar Hussain earlier this year, however, he was removed from the post when his PhD degree was not verified by Higher Education Commission (HEC). Since April this year the top seat is vacant and additional director DRAP Lahore, Asim Rauf is working as acting CEO of the department. An official said that most of the positions are filled on look after basis by junior officers and few of them are also holding more than one portfolio, despite senior officers are available to take the charge. Not even a single additional/look after charge of portfolio of director was referred to federal cabinet for approval which is misconduct of DRAP Act 2012. As per documents, the vacant posts include Director (BS-20/RO15) Pharmaceutical Evaluation and Registration, Director Administration, HR and Logistics, Licensing, Quality Assurance and Lab Testing, Controlled Drugs, Pharmacy Services, HOTC, Medical Device and Medicated Cosmetics, Legal Affairs and Director MIS. All these posts are vacant since 2012. The post of Director Biological Evaluation and Research was filled in 2017 and post of Costing and Pricing is also filled. The official also said that the situation is also not different in the cases of additional directors where junior officers are also holding higher posts. Posts of Additional Director/Secretary Licensing Board, Additional Director (PER) /Secretary Registration Board and Director Central Drugs Laboratory charges are assigned on look after basis to junior officers in cadre despite availablibility of senior officers. The official said that Establishment Division vide its O.M.No.1/21/76-AR.I/R-II, dated 18-06-1980 as amended vide O.M of even number dated 10-04-1981 framed a mechanism for assigning the current/additional charge of higher post for limited period of time till the appointment of regular incumbent or filled through promotion. Spokesperson ministry of NHS Sajd Hussain Shah in his written response to the queries said that the Authority has recommended DRAP employees regulations to be placed before policy board constituted under DRAP Act, 2012 for removing bottlenecks in the placement of permanent officers as directors of DRAP. The meeting of DRAP’s Policy Board is due to be held on 30th October, 2019. The Authority was facing numerous problems such as placement of permanent directors, robust working and procedural delays. Therefore, DRAP recommended certain