Cabinet to examine credentials of applicants

ISLAMABAD:

The cabinet has decided to scrutinise credentials of shortlisted candidates for the post of member oil of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra).

The decision came after the Cabinet Division tabled a summary for approval in a recent cabinet meeting to appoint a new member oil of Ogra.

At present, seats of Ogra member oil and chairman are vacant and due to their absence, the quorum of the regulatory authority is not complete. Therefore, the regulator has become dysfunctional.

Sources told The Express Tribune that the Cabinet Division said Ogra had been established under the Ogra Ordinance 2002 to monitor the oil and gas sector according to Section 3 of the ordinance. The regulatory authority comprises a chairman and three members – member oil, member gas and member finance.

The post of member oil had fallen vacant due to the expiry of tenure of former member on May 16, 2020. In anticipation, the Cabinet Division had started the process of hiring the member oil.

Advertisements were published for the post on January 19, 2020. Eighteen applications were received within the due date of February 3.

The prime minister constituted a selection committee, headed by Adviser to PM on Accountability Mirza Shahzad Akbar, for recommending a panel for the post.

The selection committee held its initial meeting on July 17 for shortlisting the candidates for final interview. Seven candidates were shortlisted keeping in view their age, experience and other criteria mentioned in the advertisement.

Their interviews were conducted on August 10, followed by final meeting of the selection committee on September 7. During the interviews, the shortlisted applicants were evaluated on account of relevance of their experience, leadership skills, academic qualification and knowledge of industry.

The selection committee, after a thorough examination of credentials and detailed interviews, recommended three candidates in the order of merit for appointment as member oil for a period of three years. The appointment will be subject to the verification of their credentials.

Ogra Senior Executive Zainulabideen Qureshi was on top of the merit list. He had the required experience and was the most suitable candidate.

Ziaul Haq Mirza was at second place in the merit list and Asim Niazi was on the third spot. The Cabinet Division sought the cabinet’s approval for the selection of one of them as member oil in terms of Section 3(8)(a) of the Ogra Ordinance.

Cabinet members pointed out that CVs of the candidates were missing. It was suggested that the Cabinet Division should get approval of cabinet members through circulation of a summary after attaching the CVs. The cabinet considered the summary titled “Appointment of member oil Ogra” dated September 18 and directed the Cabinet Division to attach CVs of the candidates with the summary.

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