Cabinet Division invites applications for OGRA chairman slot

ISLAMABAD: The Cabinet Division has once again issued fresh advertisement for the post of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) chairman, with an upgraded selection criterion and on special performance pay scale (SPPS), instead of MP-I scale, in order to attract better candidates.

As per details, following the approval of federal cabinet to re-advertise the post of OGRA chairman, the Cabinet Division has now invited applications for the said post and asked the interested candidates to apply within 15 days of the publication of the advertisement.

The Terms of References (ToRs) for appointment of OGRA chairman are made available on Cabinet Division’s website. Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview/selection process and no TA/DA will be admissible for the interview.

The Cabinet Division, in its advertisement, stated that applicants must have at least a Master’s Degree (minimum 16 years of education) from a renowned and Higher Education Commission (HEC) recognized university or institution, in any of the disciplines of law, business, engineering, finance, accounting, economics, petroleum or technology. Candidates with demonstrable track record of senior level policy and strategy formulation, along with minimum 20 years of experience in a large national/multinational organization (at least 10 years at senior position as Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director) in midstream and downstream oil and gas sector would preferred.

Any Pakistani citizen within the age band of 57-61 years at the time of last date of submission of application is eligible to apply for the responsible top slot of OGRA.

According to the advert, Special Professional Pay Scale (SPPS-I) is being offered for the OGRA chairman position. The chairman will be appointed for an initial term of four years and will be eligible for reappointment for a similar term or till the attainment of 65 years of age whichever is earlier.

The division clarified that the government servants who are interested in this position have been asked to apply through proper channels (in case of selection, the autonomous bodies will have to resign or seek retirement before joining the new assignment). “No person will be appointed by the federal government as a chairman if he/she has any direct or indirect financial interest in or has any connection which might reasonably be viewed as giving rise to a conflict of interest with any person involved in any regulated activity in the oil and gas sector.”

Meanwhile, sources in the Petroleum Division said that the government decision to increase the salary of OGRA chairman (who is yet to be appointed) to Rs15,00,000 per month from Rs600,000 may not sit well with the members of OGRA.

They said that the qualifications criteria for OGRA members and chairman are the same. However, the huge difference in the salary structure of OGRA members and chairman will ultimately impede the performance of OGRA, which regulates the country’s oil and gas sector of worth $20 billion.

It is pertinent to mention that the post of OGRA chairman had fallen vacant due to the expiry of former chairperson’s tenure on 17th July 2020. The Cabinet Division had started the selection procedure in January 2020.

In all, 38 applications were received by the Cabinet Division within the due date. The selection committee shortlisted 26 candidates for the post, keeping in view their age, experience and other criteria mentioned in the advertisement.

Interviews for final selection were held on 18th Aug 2020. However, the selection committee had observed that none of the candidates secured more than 60pc [criteria], while the feedback gathered about their claimed credentials from the organization in Pakistan where the candidates had previously worked was not much encouraging and none of the candidates were found suitable enough to be selected as OGRA chairman.

In light of the selection committee’s recommendations, the federal cabinet was asked to allow re-advertisement of the post of OGRA chairman with upgraded selection criteria.

Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]

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