Manning told to vacate office

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Justice David Cannings

A COURT has ordered Police Commissioner David Manning to vacate the office by noon Friday because he lacks the tertiary qualification required for the post.
Justice David Cannings upheld a judicial review application filed by former senior police officers Sylvester Kalaut and Fred Yakasa who had applied with Manning for the position in 2019.
Manning will also have to vacate the position of secretary to the Police Department by noon Friday after the court found that his appointment was unlawful because of “the absence of a tertiary qualification”.
Justice Cannings said: “It was an error of law and ultra vires on the part of the Public Services Commission to, without highlighting the issue surrounding the absence of tertiary qualifications, include David Manning in its preferred list of candidates, knowing that the successful candidate would be appointed to two positions and it being clear that Manning was not qualified for one of those positions (secretary for the Department of Police).”
Justice Cannings said they were two separate positions.
“The fact that the position of commissioner is the dominant position created by the Constitution does not mean that the qualifications for appointment to that position (which do not include possession of tertiary qualifications) override or subsume the qualifications for appointment as secretary for the Department of Police.
“Rather it is the case that the qualifications for appointment as secretary for the Department of Police are in addition to the qualifications for appointment as Commissioner of Police.”
Justice Cannings quashed both appointments published in the National Gazette on Dec 10, 2019. The order will take effect on Jan 29 at noon to allow the respondent parties time to take steps to avoid uncertainty in superintendence, efficient organisation and control of the police force.
The court found that Manning had no tertiary qualification (degree) from a recognised university while Kalaut held a bachelor of laws degree (with honours) from UPNG and Yakasa a bachelor of arts degree also from UPNG.
The three were among the 18 candidates who had applied for the position.
Manning was appointed on Dec 10, 2019, for a period of four years.
He said outside court that he was going to seek legal advice on the court ruling.
He urged police officers to continue with their duties while he sorted out the matter.


  • The oversight in the process lies with the PSC and DPM officials, unless the process was hijacked. If I was the PM, I would sack the persons involved in the short-listing to the Minister who brought the matter to the NEC for deliberation and endorsement.

  • Where does it state in the Public Service General Orders code of ethics that political appointment may supersede the qualification level of an applicant and so it is legal to appoint someone Politically through the NEC process to take on the Departmental Heads Role even though they do not meet the position description criteria? DPM is the most unreliable department with weak systems in place. How could they allow this to happen without following the normal process of hiring. Put an end to political appointment and or nepotism. Well at least justice has prevailed.

  • Appointment should be merit based, in other words meeting all PC appointment requirements…a fit and proper person to perform the duties n responsibilities of PC

  • I think performance is more than qualification. David Manning is performing his duties well than any other highly degree holders. Hope he will be reinstated again.

  • Manning has performed well so fair without fear or favour. PNG has witnessed alot of curruption from previous commissioners. Manning should remain.

  • Its about time this issue is brought into the appointment. Appointment based on merit should be upheld. Sad situationd BUT….its quite timely.
    Let this be a lesson. DPM must be stringent. No political interference must be entertained.

  • Manning is supporting the Marape/Basil government to Take Back PNG agenda which we all citizen supported it. If they thing they both were qualified, WHY DON’T THEY TAKE THE MATTER TO CHALLENGING ONEIL GOVERNMENT WHO APPOINT GARRY BAKI FROM 2015 TO 2019. Garry Baki is NOT qualified to hold the Position during his term. Where are these two gentle men during that time???. More qualified people holding onto higher position were stealing from the Department leaving us subsistence farmers paying higher taxes to the government.

  • If the PM and his executives follow the selection criteria with qualifications, DM won’t be selected. This a political appointment and the PM must know that this is not 1980s or 1990s. We ha have lot of qualified officers with degrees in the force.

  • David Manning in my opinion is the right candidate. Empower him to carry on his duties. We need young vibrant man like him to change the face of the police force and improve the standard. Provide for all the police men and women’s what they deserve and root out the corruption eating away the fabrics of this great nation.

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