Parliament to decide on top police acting appointments Friday

McDonald Jacob -
McDonald Jacob -

PARLIAMENT will debate nominees on Friday for the post of acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) and two acting Deputy Commissioners.

The matters will be argued at 1.30 pm.

For the post of acting CoP, the House of Representatives will debate whether DCP Mc Donald Jacob should be given the nod a second time. The two nominees for acting deputies are Erla Christopher and Wendell Williams.

The debate is in keeping with a high court ruling that found Jacob’s previous stint in the hot seat was illegal. In October Justice Nadia Kangaloo ruled that two previous laws were invalid which were used to appoint former CoP Gary Griffith and Jacob to act as CoP, pending the outcome of the selection process for a substantive top cop.

The two laws were Legal Notice 183 of 2021 and Legal Notice 103 of 2009, which the former Police Service Commission (PSC) used to appoint Griffith and Jacob respectively. Legal Notice 277 of 2021 replaced both laws.

Legal Notice 277 was laid in Parliament last Friday. In it, only serving police officers are allowed to act as top cop, unlike Legal Notice 183, which allowed for previously contracted workers to act. That law, many argued, was drafted to allow Griffith to remain at the helm of the police while the process of selecting a new CoP continued.

The new law mandates that the PSC prepare and have an order of merit list for candidates to act as CoP and DCP. Both must receive parliamentary approval to take effect, in keeping with Kangaloo’s judgement.

Government does not need opposition support to appoint the acting officers.

In the interim, the PSC is still seeking legal advice on whether or not it can discard the August 2021 merit list and begin the selection process for a CoP all over again.

The August merit list was for the selection of a CoP, which became a legal hot potato after it was lawfully submitted to the Office of the President, withdrawn and is now in abeyance.


"Parliament to decide on top police acting appointments Friday"

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