The government has turned down a proposal to re-appoint member (Support Services) (MP-II) Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and directed to readvertise the post to find a suitable candidate.

The Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division briefed the cabinet that the PBS was governed under the General Statistics (Re Organisation) Act 2011.

Section-18 of the act empowers the federal government for appointment and re-appointment of its functional members on such terms and conditions as determined by the government.

On July 13, 2017, Muhammad Sarwar Gondal was appointed as member (Support Services) in MP-II scale for the period of four years with the approval of the cabinet. The contract period of Gondal shall expire on July 12, 2021.

Owing to satisfactory performance of the incumbent and exigency of the vital tasks to be performed, his re-appointment merited consideration in light of his fouryear Performance Evaluation Report.

The services of the incumbent were required for re-appointment as he was associated with forthcoming seventh population and housing census 2021-22, Support System Dash Board, Integrated Agriculture Census and Smart Lockdown Policy implemented by PBS.

Accordingly, the case was moved for consideration of the Performance Evaluation Committee of the Establishment Division for extension of service.

The Establishment Division returned the case with comments that the incumbent was appointed under MP scale policy, which catered to ‘extension’ and not for ‘reappointment’ as given in Section 18(3) of the Act 2011, hence, the case cannot be processed accordingly.

It was stated that since the governing act of the authority specified the term re-appointment and not extension and as a general principle of law, the act should prevail over policy, hence, Gondal’s case was moved for consideration of his re-appointment in accordance with Section 18(3) of the prevalent act of PBS.

The Law and Justice Division had also endorsed that the federal government was empowered to re-appoint the incumbent on such terms and conditions as it may determine in term of Section 18 of the Act.

In light of the clarification of the Law & Justice Division and in accordance with the general statistics (Re-Organization) Act 2011, it was deemed appropriate that Gondal may be re-appointed as member (support services) for a period of four years, with effect from July 13, 2021 and the terms and conditions of employment of the incumbent may be ‘benchmarked’ at maximum stage of MP-II Scale.

Approval of the cabinet was solicited to the proposal. During discussion, it was pointed out that section 18(3) of the Act ibid provides that a member shall be “eligible for reappointment” which means that he will have to compete with other candidates, after advertisement of the post, for his selection.

The term “eligible for re- appointment” cannot be equated with an “extension”. It was suggested that the position should, therefore, be re-advertised and the existing member would be eligible to apply.

The Cabinet considered the summary titled ‘Re-Appointment of Member (Support Services)(MP-II)- Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS)’ submitted by the Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Division, and while observing that the re-appointment cannot be done without fresh recruitment process under section 18(3) of General Statistics (Re-Organization) Act 2011, directed the Sponsoring Division to re-advertise the position and the existing member would be eligible to apply for the said post.