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Troubled LSO gets new board of directors

GARAM CHASHMA, Nov 6: The troubled Garam Chashma Development Organization, an AKRSP sponsored LSO, has got a new Board of Directors without election through Annual General Meeting as provided for in its constitution and the MOU signed with the registering authority-Registrar Joint Stock Companies. akrspInstead the Directors were got elected in local conclaves called clusters which helps in monopolistic control of the LSO. Even this election was held seven months behind schedule and no condonation was obtained for this irregularity which only AGM can give and AGM was never held. In the election held on Nov 6, Amir Wali, a CT teacher and Sher Muhammad another PTC teacher in Government Schools were elected Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively in violation of Civil Servants Act and rules made thereunder which strictly bars Government employees from joining NGOs, trusts and foundations. In fact these very teachers had filed affidavits with EDO Education that they will not work for NGOs in the future. Therefore, as soon as the elections were over Qasim Rana, a school teacher threatened to approach the Government and Registrar Joint Stock Companies to rectify the situation and punish the violators. These elections proved to be high stake because at least three donor NGOs namely CIADP, Swiss Corporation and Plan International are working with the LSO and there are accusation of wrong utilization of funds. Instead of exercising oversight in the projects of these donors as per TORs, the functionaries of the LSO have become paid staff of projects sponsored by the donors, violating conflict of interest legislation that donors are supposed to uphold. When this scribe spoke to the high ups of Swiss Corporation in Peshawar he ruled out the possibility of any GADO functionary benefitting from these funds. He stated that facilitation fund is meant for the NGO with the community being its beneficiary, as the facilitation fund would go into its sustainability fund and GADO staff and members will supervise the work and only their travels can be paid for from this fund. If this facilitation fund is pocketed by functionaries of GADO, then it is illegal. There are reasons to believe that if this allegation is true then it can not be possible without the connivance of the BOD and it will have serious repercussions for its credibility with the donors. The newly elected chairman is said to have promised accountability but with the kind of people on the Board and track record it seems to be very difficult. At the most we can expect cover up except when somebody goes to Company Registrar and SECP to carry out operation clean up before holding elections for the BOD through AGM as per letter and spirit of the law. In case a miracle happens and the new Chairman puts the NGO in order and enforces rule of law he can find supporters among the saner elements in the society but for that he will have to grow taller than himself and earn anger of some directors continuing from the previous Board who are said to have connived in the wrong doings The outgoing Chairman inspite of talented with capacity to do a great deal of good work could not match up to the situation. He did not have good working relationship with his Manager. This coupled with his own personal limitations, groupings, narrow self interests of directors and arm twisting hamstrung the Chairman as well as the LSO. He shied away from seeking good advice except that if he had secret agenda or was over confident. At the end of the day he became so unpopular that his own cluster voted him out along with the new Chairman who later managed to manipulate the situation to stage a come back through intelligent politics. It is largely rumoured that these elections were politically motivated. Cynics spoke of PPP, APML and JUI panels. If this impression is true then it is a very bad day for the LSO and efforts of AKRSP towards community owned and community managed engine for growth  ]]>

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