The recent appointment of a Grade 19 officer from the Pakistan Administrative Service to the technical post of Member Planning and Design at the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has sparked controversy, drawing objections from the Pakistan Architects Council and Town Planners. The move has raised concerns about the violation of regulations governing the appointment to such technical positions.
Architects Council Challenges Appointment
The Establishment Division, on December 1, appointed a Pakistan Administrative Service (DMG) officer to the key role of Member Planning and Design within the CDA. Despite the officer assuming the responsibilities associated with the post, the appointment has come under scrutiny from the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners.
In a letter addressed to the secretary of the Establishment Division, Muhammad Irfan Tariq, the acting registrar of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners, expressed strong reservations about the appointment. Tariq argued that the position of Member Planning and Design is inherently technical and should be filled by qualified architects and town planners.
Highlighting the violation of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners Ordinance 1983, the registrar pointed out that appointing non-qualified individuals to technical roles is against the established regulations. The letter drew attention to the constitutional, legal, and judicial aspects of the appointment and emphasized the role of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners as a statutory regulatory body.
According to the PCATP Ordinance 1983, individuals appointed to the position of Member Planning and Design must possess relevant qualifications, experience, and registration with the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners. The failure to meet these requirements constitutes a violation of the law, and such actions are punishable under the relevant legislation.
The letter further referenced the Ministry of Interior’s 2019 advertisement for the same position, which clearly outlined the eligibility criteria for the Member Planning and Design role. The criteria included a requirement for a First Class Master’s Degree in Town Planning or Architecture, with preference given to candidates with MPhil and PhD qualifications. Additionally, a minimum of twenty years of post-degree experience was specified.
The Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners, through the letter, urged the secretary of the Establishment Division to reconsider the recent appointment decision and called for the selection of a professional and qualified individual who meets the stipulated criteria for the crucial post of Member Planning and Design at the CDA. The controversy surrounding this appointment is expected to prompt a closer examination of the regulatory framework guiding appointments to technical positions within government institutions.