Minister confirms Wagambie as acting COP

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, February 1, 2011

PUBLIC Service Minister Moses Maladina has confirmed that Tony Wagambie is the acting commissioner of police.
He said suspended commissioner Gari Baki’s term expired last month.
The position of a new police commissioner would be advertised as soon as the National Executive Council had deliberated on the investigation report into the suspension of Baki, Maladina said.
“There are a lot of recommendations contained in the investigation report, and are not restricted to Baki’s suspension alone but to other issues affecting the police force as a whole.”
Baki had been with the Royal PNG Constabulary for 30 years.
Maladina also promised that the government would settle all of Baki’s outstanding entitlements once a new police commissioner was appointed.
Meanwhile, Public Employees Association president Michael Malabag yesterday welcomed the announcement to advertise the position of the commissioner of police.
He also urged the government to respect established recruitment and appointment processes.
Malabag said the biggest contributing factor to all problems was political interference in the appointment of the commissioner and deputy commissioner.
“This trend of power struggle induced by politics has manifested itself within the rank and file causing divisions that has affected unity within the police force.”
Malabag said in the past, recommendations for such appointments were made by the NEC in close consultation with the Public Service Commission and provisions of the Police Service Act and Police Force Act were respected and followed.
“Today, politicians are appointing their own candidates to positions of authority without due care and respect for the processes, procedures and protocols, and that is why the force is riddled with animosity and rivalry.”
He called on the government to quickly appoint a permanent commissioner and his deputies so that the new management could prepare for the LNG project and 2012 general elections.