In its editorial on June 13, The National discussed a topic entitled ‘Picking the right person for the job’.
The article was of the view that the Public Services Commission has compromised its merit-based appointment process in the vetting and selection of applicants in regards to the recent selection and appointments to provincial administrator positions.
This is not true because the commission’s powers relating to the appointment, revocation of appointment and suspension of departmental heads, provincial administrators and chief executives (CEOs) of Regulatory Statutory Authorities (RSAs) were effectively removed in 2014 as a consequence of legislation amendments to the Constitution and the Public Services (Management) Act.
These powers and functions were removed from the PSC and bestowed upon the newly created Ministerial Executive Appointments Committee (MEAC).
However, the commission’s powers in relation to the appointment of departmental heads under section 193 (1) (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f) of the Constitution relating to the appointments of the commissioner of police, commander of the PNG Defence Force and the managing director of the National Broadcasting Corporation were not removed by the 2014 legislative amendments and enactments and is still being performed by the commission.
The article also highlighted a selection and vetting process involving the Department of Personnel Management (DPM), Central Agencies Coordinating Committee (CACC) and PSC, which is also wrong.
This process was used prior to the amendments in 2014.
The new process only involves DPM and MEAC, leaving CACC and PSC out of the equation, except for when appointments are made for the commissioner of police, commander of the PNG Defence Force and the managing director of the National Broadcasting Corporation of which PSC is still required to perform.
Dr Philip Kerema