Tuesday Feb 13 2018

KP Ehtesab Commission in crisis with multiple posts vacant

PESHAWAR: In over three years since its inception Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ehtesab Commission has not solved a single graft case and chances of current ones being wrapped up soon are dim as most of the posts in the body are vacant.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government had formed the commission over lack of confidence in the KP anti-corruption department, but has failed to bring it to full use.

According to sources in the commission, as it is the 29 references that Ehtesab Commission has filed in the accountability court have not been decided yet and now the lack of officials has back-burnered a number of other cases.

The commission stands nearly ineffective despite spending Rs520 million on salaries, rent and furniture for the office etc ever since it started operations in 2014.

Vacant posts

The positions that are vacant in the commission include has the director general’s on top of the list. The former director general of the commission, Lieutenant General (retd) Hamid Khan, resigned on February 9, 2016, after which no one has been hired on the position yet.

The director of the commission’s human rights department has the additional charge of the director general.

Besides, two posts of additional director investigation, eight of deputy director, 12 out of 16 of assistant director, 36 posts of junior investigation officers, 10 junior clerks’, nine senior clerks’, 10 out of 18 posts of field operators and three superintendents’ posts are currently vacant.

Moreover, a number of employees in the commission are hired on a contract and do not have any job security.

The sources said Ehtesab Commission did not even have an office to its name and was operating in four rented bungalows.

Letters have been written to the KP government many times requesting land for the commission and funds to hire officials but to no avail, sources added.

Current state

At present, Ehtesab Commission has only eight investigators. The seven that were on deputation from other departments, including KP National Accountability Bureau and anti-corruption department, retired a while back.

With over 2,500 complaints pending, each of the current investigators will then have to deal with more than 300 cases, which is an impossible task.

One of the reasons for the posts remaining vacant is the commission’s edibility criterion, which requires the prospective investigator to have 12 years of work experiences and a master’s degree in criminology.

All the reasons combined have greatly impacted performance of the commission.