APPOINTING THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
By Bryan Kramer
Almost every week in the past month members of the mainstream media have been contacting me to ask whether or not NEC has made a decision on the appointment of Commission for Police.
Every-time my response has been, No.
All three positions, Commissioner and two Deputy Commissioners (Operations & Admin) are acting positions. By law they are acting in the position for a term of 3 months until their acting term expires after which NEC will decide to extend a further 3 months or make a substantive (permanent) appointment.
Acting Commissioner for Police, David Manning as well as Acting Deputy Commissioner for Operations Donald Yamasombi were appointed on 2nd September 2019, their 3 month acting appointment will expire on 2nd December 2019.
While the Deputy Commissioner for Admin Ms Joanne Clarkson acting appointment expired on 5th October 2019 and re-appointed to serve a further 3 months until 6th January 2020.
To avoid any confusion and misinformation in relation to the appointment of Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner’s I will explain the process involved.
Commissioner for Police is a Constitutional Office therefore the appointment process is subject to Section 193 of Constitution.
It states that the appointment of Commissioner whether temporary or substantive (permanent) shall be made by the Head of State (Governor General) acting on the advice of NEC (National Executive Council) only after consultation with the Public Service Commission and the Parliament Committee responsible for Permanent Appointments.
Public Service Commission is made up of three Commissioner’s and the Parliament Appointments Committee is made up of 7 Members of Parliament.
What is the process?
Commissioner for Police is also a public service position, for this reason the Department of Personnel Management will get involved in the process by advertising the position, setting out minimum qualification and experience required.
Department will then screen the applications to ensure they meet the minimum requirements set out the advert and short list 5 most suitable candidates to pass onto Public Service Commission. (PSC).
PSC will then carryout a further assessment including one on one interview of the applicants to determine a short list of 3 candidates.
The assessment is based on a matrix scoring system covering 6 main categories
1 Age, Health & Fitness (0-4 points)
2 Character & Standing (0-4 points)
3 Education & Qualification (0-4 points)
4 Employment/Experience (0-4 points)
5 General Managerial Competency (0-8 points)
6 Technical Competency (0-8 points)
Total score of 36.
Each applicant is ranked from the highest to the lowest.
The top 3 scoring applicants are then recommended by PSC to NEC.
The recommendations are first forwarded to the Parliament Committee to seek their views before it is brought back to NEC by the Minister responsible – in this case Minister for Police.
To-date PSC have submitted a short list of 3 candidates to Parliament Committee who have been consulted and submission have been prepared to submitted to Ministers responsible being Police and Public Service.
Once a submission is tabled in NEC it will include the CV’s of each of the 3 candidates, the scoring results provided by the PSC and a letter from Parliament Committee confirming they have been consulted.
Minister responsible will brief NEC on the short list of candidates provided by PSC and any comments by Parliament Committee.
After which the Prime Minister will call for comments from other members of NEC before a final a decision will be made.
NEC will have the option to decide on any one of the 3 short listed candidates. It is common for candidates listed in second and or even third place to be appointed.
In the event NEC are not satisfied with the short-listed candidates it may decide to reject the names submitted and direct the process be carried out again.
What about appointment of Deputy Commissioner’s of Police?
The practice has been the Commissioner for Police will advertise the position within the Force and after receiving applications, carryout his own assessment before submitting his short list to the Minister for Police to submit to NEC.
However, in my capacity as Minister Police it’s my view in the interest of impartially and fairness I will be recommending that the applications for Deputy Commissioners be forwarded to the PSC to undergo the same process as Commissioner for Police.