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Pakistan set to sack unmerited 300 consultants

ISLAMABAD, October 20 (Internews): Over 300 consultants hired by the
Pakistan are facing the sack after it transpires that they were
recruited on lucrative posts and salaries under dubious circumstances,
sources here say.
An investigation into the scandalous affair has reveals that 304
consultants have been identified as hired through objectionable process.
The probe, done by a high level committee of several federal
secretaries, through a sub-committee, found only 32 of the 336
consultants were hired in a transparent manner and on merit.
The report has been submitted to President Pervez Musharraf, and if
approved, more than 300 consultants may lose their jobs, the sources
said. The committee recommends that cases of the suspect 304 consultants
should be reviewed by the ministries that hired them in line with fresh
official guidelines.
Those not meeting the guidelines should be fired whereas cases of others
should be referred to the president for approval, the report says.
Analysts say that if the recommendations are approved, all but 32
consultants would lose their jobs and some may be re-hired only if
Musharraf approves them.
The report shows that the ministries have badly let down the president
because he had specifically issued directives to reduce the burden on
the national exchequer and to uphold merit in all appointments.
It has been recommended that all the ministries be asked to review these
appointments and kick out all those who were hired without following
transparent procedures or given the jobs as a favour.
The committee report says the consultants are supposed to give
specialised and specific advisory services for a limited period of time
in a selected area of expertise that is not available in-house.
It says it has been found, however, that the consultants were appointed
for indefinite periods and from amongst retired government servants.
It urges that in-house experts and specialists be asked to do the bulk
of the work that is normally assigned to well-paid but unaccountable
consultants from the private sector. Every request for consultancy must
be justified, it added. -Internews

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