The government’s new legislature, the Police Service Bill, is designed to change revise the process involving the appointment of Commissioner of Police from direct appointment by the President to a process where any qualified officer can apply for the position.
The Police Service Bill, submitted to the Parliament on behalf of the government by West Henveyru MP Hassan Latheef, declares the authorities and responsibilities of Commissioner of Police, along with the appointment process.
At present, the Commissioner of Police position is not open for application, but a political appointment.
The bill establishes that the Promotion Board must open applications and conduct the vetting process in response to any situation where a Commissioner of Police must be appointed.
Applicants are required to go through the vetting process which includes interviews and examinations, and to obtain a report by National Integrity Commission and the Police Professional Standard Command attesting to their qualification and integrity.
The bill establishes that the Commissioner of Police will be appointed for a four-year tenure, upon expiry of which he/she may be appointed for another four-year tenure.
Following vetting by the Promotion Board, the Home Minister will present the President with a shortlist of candidates, from among whom the President will make his selection.
The President will still reserve the authority to remove the Commissioner of Police from power, as is allowed under the current law.
The new bill establishes that the President may request the Home Minister to dismiss the Commissioner of Police under specific circumstances which includes being convicted of a criminal offense, or a health reason.
The bill establishes that once it comes into effect, two new positions must be created to counsel the Commissioner of Police – the Legal Counsel of Commissioner of Police and Technical Adviser of Commissioner of Police.
According to the bill, the board which interviews applicants will be established, and its members appointed by the Commissioner of Police at the time.
The first reading of the bill has already been held at the Parliament, but the preliminary debate remains pending.