ISLAMABAD: The Establishment Division has directed all the ministries/divisions to avoid misuse of ‘look after charge’ as the officers who are assigned this responsibility cannot use administrative or financial powers.
In a letter to all the ministries/divisions, the Establishment Division has stated that a number of instances have come to the notice of Establishment Division where the ministries/divisions have been found indulging in the practice of assigning look after charge of higher post to an officer during the absence of its actual incumbent which causes administrative/financial inconvenience. In this context, Establishment Division has clarified that there is no provision of look after charge in Civil Servants Act, 1973 and Rules made there under, rather an officer can be deputed temporarily as an internal arrangement to look after the work of another post for disposal of day to day work of urgent and routine nature in the ministry/division/organization concerned.
As a matter of principle, the senior-most officer is normally asked by the head of the division/department to look after the work of a post when its incumbent is temporarily away. Regarding the decision making process, the Establishment Division says that there may be certain issues which are of quasi-judicial nature and decision cannot be taken by an officer not formally designated to exercise those powers. Likewise, certain financial and administrative powers can only be exercised by an officer to whom additional/current charge of the post is entrusted in the prescribed manner. An officer looking after the work cannot exercise such powers as he has not been delegated with such powers by the competent authority.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021