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PCA shortlisted 12 out of 50 applicants

Published: 
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Out of 50 applicants for the post of police commissioner and deputy police commissioner, 12 were shortlisted by the Police Service Commission. These applicants were also asked whether or not they were interested in applying for a post other than what they had initially applied for.

This was among several issues raised yesterday before the Special Select Committee which was mandated by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley to review appointments for the office of Police Commissioner and Deputy Police Commissioner.

The committee heard that initially, 54 people applied but four were deemed unsuitable. Twenty-six people applied for the position of DCP, four applied for CoP and 20 applied for both positions.

But more questions than answers seemed to be raised regarding the criteria and selection process.

Former Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman Maria Therese Gomes said Legal Notice 219 outlined the qualifications for both posts.

“They are the same qualifications of a degree in law, public service management and criminal justice. The only difference is the years of experience,” Gomes said, adding that the CoP post required 15 years’ experience and for a DCP it was 10.

“The way it was done, all candidates had an equal opportunity to be either selected for commissioner of police or deputy commissioner of police, even though they had applied for a specific post.”

Member Terrence Deyalsingh, who expressed concern, asked when “this merger” occurred and on whose authority.

“This was done by prerogative of the commission when we deliberated and looked at the pool of applicants who applied,” Gomes said, adding it was a unanimous decision by PSC and was done in consultation with the accounting firm KPMG, which was hired to assist in the process.

“When the commission held its interviews we asked the question, ‘You have applied for the position of so and so, if the commission considers you for another position what is your opinion’....this was asked of everybody,” Gomes said.

“And the people who applied for both, we asked then that same question and asked them to clarify which position they are really interested in.”

Asked whether the firm conducted a separate assessment to recruit a CoP and for a DCP, or whether it allowed for a merger, Gomes said the firm did not conduct a separate process for CoP and DCP, adding it was the same process conducted for both posts.

Deputy Director of Personnel Administration (DPA) Prabhawatie Maraj said no advice from the office of the DPA was sought regarding whether there should be one procedure for two separate job competency models.

At the end of the first stage in selection there were 20 candidates who scored above sixty per cent—five of whom were picked for commissioner only and 15 for DCP and Gomes said there was one person deemed suitable for both positions.

When the committee further examined the score, there were people on the DCP’s list with scores higher then the candidates topping the commissioner’s list.

The committee also heard that at one stage advice from a senior counsel was also sought. But she said at that time there were already 12 candidates who were in the final stages of the process. Gomes said this advice was sought regarding a specific instance, which was whether “person A or B is not precluded from being considered.” 

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