Islamabad - The Emergency and Disaster Management (E&DM) Unit of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) has two directors, simultaneously, as controversy over who amongst them legally holds the charge continues.
With separate rooms and name plates as director at the E&DM directorate, both Muhammad Attaullah and Zafar Iqbal have been at the centre of a controversy arising, first from the ‘Office Order’ issued by the CDA to post Muhammad Attaullah as Director E&DM and later withdrawal of the same Order by the Authority, as in the meantime the former secured a stay order from a court of law in his favour. Until the start of the controversy, Zafar Iqbal had been holding the offices of director E&DM and director Directorate of Municipal Administration simultaneously. “Actually it’s a tug of war between the high ups of MCI and CDA for authority and these two officers are just agents,” commented a senior officer of MCI on the situation at the E&DM directorate. He said no one from the two is ready to step back as both are being backed by the respective senior officers at MCI and CDA.
Muhammad Attaullah, Deputy Director (BS-18) Manager Operations (PMBS) was given look-after charge of the office of Director E&DM in addition to his own duties on 3 August 2018. The orders were issued by Human Resource Development Directorate of the CDA. However, Chief Metropolitan Officer MCI, Najaf Iqbal in a letter addressed to Chairman CDA objected over the same by saying that CDA has no authority to post/transfer/give additional or look-after charge to anyone for the MCI formations without prior approval of the Chief Metropolitan Officer/Mayor, MCI as per law.
The letter also held that look-after charge of the office of Director Emergency & Disaster Management Unit of MCI assigned to Muhammad Attaullah by the CDA on August 3 is also a violation of the law. Amidst a deadlock between the two offices, the CDA’s HRD Directorate on August 6 cancelled the Office Order to post Muhammad Attaullah at the post of Director Emergency and Disaster Management Unit of the MCI but in the meantime, Attaullah knocked the door of a court to get withdrawal of the August 6 CDA HRD letter suspended through which he was posted as Director E&DM.
According to the sources, Muhammad Attaullah sits in the room of Deputy Director with his name plate outside the door while Zafar Iqbal, being director DMA has been using the room of the director DMA and he has locked the office of director E&DM. He has been denying charge of the office to Muhammad Attaullah. The sources further said that the officials are confused as correspondence is being sent to Zafar Iqbal. The sources said that CMO is backing Zafar Iqbal. In the meantime, the CDA and MCI have locked horns over the authority to transfer/posting of MCI officials. It is pertinent to mention here that Chief Officer MCI a grade 18 officer is ordering orders for transfer/posting of even higher grades. On Friday, the Chief Officer transferred 22 officials of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) including some senior officers of BS-20. According to the sources in the CDA, the CDA Officers Welfare Association is mulling to knock the doors of a court as they believe that MCI high ups are creating confusing under the garb of local government act, 2015.
Earlier in August, all the MCI formations had been separately directed that any posting/transfer orders issued by the HRD directorate, CDA shall not be implemented in MCI without approval of the Chief Metropolitan Officer/Mayor, MCI. The recent correspondence on part of the MCI high ups has led to a dead lock on the issue of transfer/posting in the MCI as both the CDA and MCI view that the other body has no authority to issue orders in this regard without its approval. In the absence of clear rules and regulations governing the employees transferred from CDA to MCI at the time of inception of MCI a few years ago, the state of confusion is aggravating further with each passing day. Around three years have passed and the authorities have failed to frame rules governing the MCI employees in clear terms to end the confusion. It is pertinent to mention here that in mid July, the CDA high ups had taken ‘serious notice of the Chief Officer Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad’s approval to transfers and postings’, saying the authority rests with the CDA Chairman and Member (Administration), CDA.
The Staff Officer to Chief Officer, MCI had issued certain posting/transfer orders of officers with the approval of Chief Officer, MCI which, the CDA viewed as against the rules. “As per CDA Employees (Service) Regulations, 1992 and revised Schedule of Administrative Powers-2007, the authority for posting/transfer of officers from BS-16 to BS-19 rests with Chairman CDA and for employees in BS-1 to 15 is with Member (Administration),” said a letter issued by the Director HRD, CDA on July 12. The letter further explained that MCI does not have any service regulations to deal with such issues.
The Director HRD had further held that as per existing procedure, all proposals for posting/transfer of officers/officials will be dealt by the HRD Directorate, CDA after obtaining approval of the competent authority. The Director had also withdrawn the posting/transfer orders issued by the Staff Officer to Chief Officer, MCI. “Hence the posting/transfer orders issued by the Staff Officer to Chief Officer, MCI are hereby withdrawn ab initio”, the letter had said. He had also asked all the concerned to obey the posting/transfer orders issued by the HRD directorate, failing which strict disciplinary action will be initiated against him in accordance with the CDA Employees (Service) Regulations, 1992. With the fresh development, the issue has again highlighted the confusion already prevailing when it comes to the transfer and posting of the MCI officials.