IESCO Chief Hiring Draws Concern

Cabinet members have expressed serious concern over the appointment of Amjad Khan as chief executive officer (CEO) of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (Iesco), who had failed to perform while heading other power distribution companies in his earlier stints.

While considering the appointment for the post of Iesco CEO, the cabinet members expressed reservations over the quality of the panel and observed that the performance of the principal candidate, during his stints at other distribution companies, was not very noteworthy.

The Power Division highlighted that the panel had been selected by the newly appointed board from amongst 70 applicants. An opinion was expressed that such positions should be filled through headhunting as normally, well-qualified candidates did not respond to advertisements.

Cabinet members also pointed out that this particular position was governed by the Corporate Governance Rules and to exercise the headhunting option, the rules had to be amended just as MP scale policy had been amended to provide for headhunting.

A cabinet member, while mentioning the lengthy procedure to select headhunting firms, drew attention to his earlier suggestion that the Establishment Division should choose a panel of headhunting firms, which could be used by the ministries/divisions instead of going through the selection process in every single case.

The cabinet secretary clarified that the implementation was pending on part of the Establishment Division.

Referring to the planned privatisation of distribution companies in a year or so, the Power Division requested that for the time being the recommendation of the Iesco board may be approved.

The Power Division informed the cabinet that Iesco was one of the 10 distribution companies under the administrative control of the Ministry of Energy (Power Division).

The cabinet, in its meeting held on December 15, 2020, approved the terms and conditions for the appointment of CEOs of distribution companies, and accordingly, the board of directors of distribution companies initiated the process of recruitment.

The post of Iesco CEO was advertised on January 17, 2021. A total of 70 candidates applied for the position. The board evaluated the applications and shortlisted 43 candidates.

The board of directors held interviews of 14 shortlisted candidates and after detailed deliberations recommended a panel of three candidates in order of preference for consideration for appointment of one of them on the post of Iesco CEO to the division.

It placed Mohammad Amjad Khan at the first position in order of preference. The second candidate was Muzammil Hussain and the third was Muhammad Jabbar Khan.

Keeping in view the list of candidates, the Power Division proposed that the candidate at the top position may be considered for appointment as the CEO for a period of three years since Abdul Razaq, the incumbent Iesco CEO, was retiring with effect from July 2, 2021.

It proposed that Tahir Qazi, the senior most chief engineer posted in Iesco, may be assigned to look after the work of CEO purely on a temporary basis till the appointment and joining of the new CEO.

The Power Division sought approval of the cabinet to appoint Amjad Khan as the new CEO. The cabinet considered the summary and approved the proposal submitted by the Power Division.

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