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    • The Office of the Services Commissions, which is the Secretariat to the Public Service Commission, notes with concern the recent media reports regarding its role in the selection process for the post of Public Defender.
    • His Excellency The Governor-General requested that the Public Service Commission facilitate the selection process for the post of Public Defender by advertising, shortlisting and interviewing candidates.
    • The selection criteria, based on the job requirements, were stated in the advertisement circulated in the print media as well as on a number of government websites.

    PRESS RELEASE

    OFFICE OF THE SERVICES COMMISSIONS

    JANUARY 6, 2015

     

    The Office of the Services Commissions, which is the Secretariat to the Public Service Commission, notes with concern the recent media reports regarding its role in the selection process for the post of Public Defender.  Consequently the following clarification is provided.

    His Excellency The Governor-General requested that the Public Service Commission facilitate the selection process for the post of Public Defender by advertising, shortlisting and interviewing candidates. The selection criteria, based on the job requirements, were stated in the advertisement circulated in the print media as well as on a number of government websites. Applicants were shortlisted against these criteria which guided the interviews conducted by the members of the Public Service Commission. Each member of the Commission scored the candidates and made their comments, all of which were collated and the report submitted to His Excellency. Additionally, on the instructions of The Governor-General, a contracted expert conducted a psychometric assessment of the candidates, also based on the competencies required for the job. These reports were also submitted to His Excellency. All of the above constitutes the role the Commission played in the selection process for the post of Public Defender. This was the same process used for the selection of other high officials, including the Contractor General.

    As provided by “The Public Defender (Interim) Act (2000), The Governor-General is the sole authority who makes the appointment, after consultation with the Most Hon. Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Contrary to information carried in the media, The Governor-General has not yet completed that process and it is inaccurate to state that anyone has been appointed as Public Defender.

    The selection criteria for this post as well as all senior executive positions in which the Public Service Commission is involved in the selection process are based on the job requirements and the competencies required of Senior Executives within the Public Sector. These are contained within the Government of Jamaica Accountability Framework for Senior Executives which was published by the Cabinet Office in January 2010. Age is not a criterion that is used by the Commission to guide its selection decisions as this it considers to be discriminatory. The Commission has recommended persons for appointment from a wide range of age groups, including younger persons, for senior executive appointments.

    The concerns are noted as to whether the letters of the retired Public Defender were considered in the selection process for the post. The Commission declares that they had no knowledge of or access to these letters and were only made aware of same through media, after their selection process had been completed and their recommendation submitted to His Excellency.

    This Office states categorically that the statements published in the press pertaining to the assessment of job candidates in this selection exercise that have been attributed to the Commission are incorrect. Additionally, the Commission’s assessment of job candidates is confidential information, the publication of which constitutes a breach of the privacy of the job candidates.

    The Commission always strives to uphold its mandate of using selection processes that are fair and equitable to ensure that its final recommendations are based on the principle of merit.

     

     

    Lois Parkes, PhD

    Chief Personnel Officer

    Office of the Services Commissions

    30 National Heroes Circle

    Kingston 4

    1 (876) 922-8600

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